Oh the places we (will) go?

Lost? Twenty-Something's and the Catholic church.

That was the title of a conference I went to over the weekend. Hence my reason for traveling to New York City. It was a haul there and a haul back, but all things considered I slept well on the plane, the conference was better than I think EVERY conference I've been too (conferences are notoriously bad) and I'm glad to be back. I feel kind of renewed for energy with J and S.

During a day and half of a conference on twenty somethings I had a fair amount of time to sizeup my relationships with the Church. Am I "Lost" or is the church "lost." First and foremost the "Lost" twenty somethings the title implied is the 33-66% of twenty-something (anglo) Catholics who no longer practice or label themselves as Catholic. Most days I call myself catholic and lets be honest, I work in explicitly Christian and Catholic ministry so I'm not in that percentage. Except a lot of the topics resonated with me.

When people stay in the church it's because of a local church and a personalized experience. When people leave the church it is typically because of the voice of Rome the "Church." This, of course, gets all mixed with local painful personalized experience and just general irrelevance. The fact of the matter is the most twenty somethings just aren't buying into the liturgy, the sacramentality, teaching on sexuality and family and the like. Though, in general twenty-something Catholics are buying into social justice and liberation and generally abortion (even though they want it legal they don't want it to happen).

I wonder why I am writing this though? What, after all, is it that I wanted to scream out at the conference. I wanted to yell out to the church that gathered that sometimes people make decisions contrary to church teaching out of there discerned and spirit guided sense of values. I wanted to scream out that S and I did church shopping for 3 years and no one talked to us until I was 9months pregnant. Seriously NO ONE! I wanted to remind them that simply because people "come back" to the church at baptism does not mean that they stay.

I wonder if I read all these church-ish posts in 5 years or 10 years what I will think. How and where I will be? More settled, more at peace, still riled or standing on a different plateau altogether.


  1. Hey dear sister--
    You're brave and fighting a good fight that needs to be fought!
    That part of me that wants to say, "come stand on a different plateau" is always there ... I love my church, and even with our own frailties I'm so proud of so much that we Anglicans get to take for granted.
    But the world, and the church, needs there to be a Rome. And the healthier Rome can be, the better it ends up for all of us. And I also know that if I had been born and bred and baptized and fed on that side of the Tiber, I would probably feel a pull to stay and be part of the vocal, frustrated, loving, faithful minority.
    There's no right answer, but you and S are blessings to the world and the church.
    Hugs to you both.


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