drawing the youth in ..... Catholicism

Been wondering a lot about youngsters and church.  What draws them and what keeps them away.  Catechism definately keeps them there ..... I perhaps find it easier with kids at a Catholic school because Catechism is part of their routine, with the bonus before First Communion and Confirmation of having the "in-house" priest giving lessons.  On a Confirmation level I know my daughter found this intense and insightful.  

When I was young Catechism was definately not what it is today.  I remember with what heavy hearts we trudged to our parish on the evening we were allocated and listened to ramblings of things that just seemed to heavy handed for us to understand.  But going to church was something that was instilled in us from an early age.  

The same has been carried down into my own family ..... my husband converted to Catholicism before we got married and being involved in whichever parish we were at was natural to us.  Our kids were altar servers, both Eug and I taught Catechism and I ran the Youth group at our previous parish .... and it was different than I remembered.  The Confirmation kids I had with me over 2 years built up a relationship of trust and sharing with me and we became integral to each other's lives.  They were in gr 11, most of them 17 and today those kids are 25 and most of them still have contact with me, via FB or directly.  So the bond is firm. 

But over time I found the homilies not only becoming almost meaningless to me, but driving away youngsters, youngsters who came to church on the weekends to have their souls fed, to learn about finding God continually in their lives and to leave the service with a heart bursting with love and thoughts that had been challenged. 

Going to Mass should never be a chore akin to dishes or actually putting your laundry in the basket. 

Somewhere along the way this year it changed, a new priest arrived at our parish who brought along all the things the youngsters needed .... homilies that teach, on ground level, in real terms,    The notion that laughter is ok in the church building or at appropriate times in the service, that hymns can be boisterous and fun and modern, and slowly slowly I see many "missing for a while" youngsters arriving at the services .... happy to be there, at an inclusive place. 

And this is how I see my Faith, the ability to keep me wondrous and drawn throughout my life. 

And this feeling is now. 

Till next time, 
c'est la vie xx



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