39 Search Results for: mass for millennials

Observations on Ratzinger’s Introduction to Christianity on Its 50th Anniversary

Introduction to Christianity is modest in scope and intention, and conspicuously eschews the originality that has become the standard in appraising excellence in academic theology over the past decades. Yet despite these disadvantages, it has become a classic in David Tracy’s sense in that over a period of 50 years it has spoken in shifting intellectual environments to professors of theology, college students, mothers and fathers of college students, religious searchers, to Catholics in parishes who wish to better know their Christian faith and pass it on, and to Catholics who have lapsed either because of scandals in the Church or the perception that Christian faith is not relevant to their lives. The book has exercised enormous influence because of its deep rootedness in the Catholic tradition, the simplicity of its faith, the personal warmth that it exudes, and its marvelous clarity and economy of expression. Perhaps more than any other text Benedict wrote, this one best shows him as teacher. But teacher not only in the thoughtfulness and patience exhibited in the text that readers …

The Strange Myths of the New Evangelization

More than forty years after the publication of the encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi by Pope Paul VI and six years since the establishment of a new Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, it is a good time to pause and evaluate how the New Evangelization project is proceeding. While many doom-and-gloom prophecies abound in casual Catholic conversation, a serious analysis of our current situation is essential. I would like to suggest that the common understanding or “conventional wisdom” among new-evangelists about the New Evangelization’s status is not based on well-documented evidence. While statistical studies are often cited with pessimistic relish, I will report on recent statistical and sociological research that may point in another direction—though a comprehensive sociological analysis of Catholic evangelization efforts is still lacking. Unfortunately, despite large investments of institutional energy in the New Evangelization, many Catholic communities are still evangelically ineffective. Later, I will suggest possible strategic shifts that could be implemented in order to improve the outcomes of our efforts. On the one hand, a renewed effort at full implementation of the …

Embracing Parish Life: Step 4—Getting Involved

Editors’ Note: This is the final article in a series that seeks to make parish life more accessible to Catholic young adults. To learn more, see: Embracing Parish Life: Step 1—Choosing a Parish, Embracing Parish Life: Step 2—Registering at a Parish, and Embracing Parish Life: Step 3—Tithing. In thinking about writing this series for young adults on embracing parish life, I began by informally surveying young adult Catholics in my social networks. The 85 people who responded to my Google survey represent an atypical sampling of Millennials (my social networks are exceptionally Catholic-y): 80% attend Mass at least weekly, 80% are registered at their parishes, and 83.5% donate to their parishes at least occasionally. And, yet, only 55.3% of these respondents can definitively say that they feel like they are part of their parish communities. We go to Mass, we’re registered, we donate, but we don’t feel like we belong. What are we missing? In reviewing my [not particularly scientific] data, I found it interesting to look at the differences between those who are involved in their …

Globalized Secularity: An American-British Problem

Editor’s Note: This week, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy and the editor of Church Life is visiting the United Kingdom to give a series of talks on liturgy and secularization. He is also beginning an inter-disciplinary research project related to this topic. He will be blogging about his trip over the next seven days.  Grace Davie, the British sociologist of religion, has often noted the exceptional quality of Europe’s secularity. Because of her work, it is impossible today to speak about a single experience of the secular. In Britain, according to Davie, secularity is best understood as a vicarious religion. No matter how little belief that one might have, it is viewed positively that there is a vicar in town (along with a cathedral church), who can tend to the needs of people who require such things. It’s good that the Church exists to carry out the rites of passage necessary for maintaining social order. Secularity in the United States, of course, is different than this. Much of this has to do …

Editorial Musings: Can Liturgy Heal a Secular Age?

It is hard to describe the early twentieth century liturgical movement as one grounded in Augustinian realism. From its very beginning, it was presumed that attention to liturgical formation, whether that included liturgical reform or not, would result in the healing of individualism, secularization, racism, and all the social ills in modern society. Secularization, in particular, was to be counteracted through liturgical renewal and reform. Fr. Lambert Beauduin, often regarded as the founder of the liturgical movement, noted that renewed attention to liturgical formation would re-awaken Christian vigor in society: The piety of the Christian people, and hence their actions and life, are not grounded sufficiently in the fundamental truths that constitute the soul of the liturgy; that is, in the destiny of all things unto the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the necessary and universal contemplation of Jesus Christ; the central place of the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the Christian life . . . All these truths, which find expression in every liturgical act, are asleep in men’s souls; the …

The Francis Effect Isn’t About Numbers

Yesterday in The New York Times, Matthew Schmitz of First Things contributed an op-ed debunking the supposed Francis effect. He noted that although the papacy is viewed in a more positive light than it was under Pope Benedict XVI, Catholics are not returning to the pews. In fact, there has been a slight or marginal decrease in the last eight years: New survey findings from Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate suggest that there has been no Francis effect — at least, no positive one. In 2008, 23 percent of American Catholics attended Mass each week. Eight years later, weekly Mass attendance has held steady or marginally declined, at 22 percent. Commentators, both religious and secular, have noted this fact before. Pope Francis, no matter how attractive he is viewed, is not bringing people back to active Mass attendance at least within the United States. We should not be surprised that lapsed Catholics remain, well, lapsed–despite the the magnetic pull of a single Pontiff. The attraction to Pope Francis must be understood within a broader …

How to Become a Catechist

Earlier this year, I walked across Notre Dame’s campus for the first time in order to interview as a parish apprentice for the Institute for Church Life’s Echo program, a two year graduate program in theology with a heavy emphasis on ministerial experience. Throughout my life, I’ve gotten to know several ND alumni. They gradually managed to build the University up to an almost legendary status in my mind. That being said, I was, unsurprisingly, enthralled, and fairly incredulous, that I was among some of the well-known buildings, memorials, and statues that grace the University’s grounds. But looking back now, as an actual Notre Dame student and apprentice, I believe that I would have been excited for very different reasons if I had known all that I would learn and experience in such a short period of time with the Echo program. My apprenticeship began with a rigorous summer filled with theology classes over Church doctrine, catechetical techniques, pastoral solutions, and various theological topics like the Sacraments of the Church and the Holy Trinity. I …

Millennial Catholics and Fish Fridays

Michael O’Loughlin of America Magazine has a report on Millennial Catholics, drawn from a recent survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). While the report doesn’t reveal much change from a 2008 survey on the same topic, there are a couple of areas of concern. But when it comes to millennials, changes in how Catholics practice the sacraments are more dramatic. Take Lent, for example. In 2008, half of all millennial Catholics reported receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. Now, that number has dropped to 41 percent. The number of millennial Catholics giving up something for Lent dropped 10 points from 2008 to 36 percent, and those donating money or trying to change negative behavior dropped 18 points, to 28 percent. Some Catholic habits, however, are proving stickier. More than half (58 percent) of millennial Catholics still do not eat meat on Lenten Fridays, a dip of only three points since 2008. But Catholic millennials mirror their non-Catholic peers, showing a downward slide when it comes to attending religious services, prayer and belief …

Social and Liturgical Action in the 21st Century

Many of my fellow Catholic Millennials are concerned for moderate to drastic social change, especially in the United States. I would venture to guess, though, that many of these same Catholic Millennials do not realize there is a long history of Catholic social action deriving from the “source and summit” of the Catholic life, the liturgical action. How are these two seemingly different aspects of life connected? We cannot forget the words of our Lord for loving our neighbor and caring for the environment, but I would like to focus on making connections between the Liturgical Movement of the twentieth century and my generation’s affinity for social action. Virgil Michel, OSB was one of the foremost proponents of the connection between social action and liturgical action in the twentieth century. A monk of St. John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota, Michel is famous for his promotion of lay “active” or “actual” participation in the liturgical life of the Church. Founding the Liturgical Press in 1926, he used this venue to spread the latest news from the liturgical …