One Year In: Passing on the Splendid Torch

When Robert Christian and I started Millennial a year ago, we began a journey into the wilderness.

We didn’t know where we would find the money to fund this. We didn’t know where we would find the time to write and recruit other writers, especially with Robert’s first born child, Avery, on the way. We didn’t know who would read us. And–quite frankly–with the voices of the prophets of doom announcing that religion had died among young people, we didn’t know who would even care.

In short, we didn’t know much.

But we did know a few things.

We knew that the voice of young Catholics had been left out of discussions about the faith in both religious and secular publications. We knew that the pundits who tried to speak for us never got it right and hardly ever came close to describing the terrain of our experiences. We knew that the Church of our parents’ generation had for far too long been squabbling over the details of the tradition, while failing to share or even understand the goodness within it. We knew that Jesus was right: young people could and should be “salt of the Earth” and “light of the world.”

You see, in the final analysis, this wasn’t a mere academic or professional exercise. This was an act of faith. Benedict always said it so well: being a Christian is not simply the result of an ethical choice or a lofty ideal, but rather, of a human relationship with a human event and a human story.

We believed that the personal experiences that young people had with Christ and the Church should be articulated in an undiluted manner. We knew that young people could speak for themselves. We grew excited at the prospect that young people could use the faith they had experienced to address the issues of our times in articulate and compelling ways.

As I mentioned earlier, Robert and Sarah Christian welcomed their first daughter Avery into the world earlier this year. A few months ago, I had the honor in sharing in the celebration of her baptism as her godfather.

That experience reminded me the core of what this project and ultimately the faith is about: our children.

If we don’t serve Avery and the children of her generation, we might as well pack our bags and go home, because all our efforts will be fruitless.

We must start a dialogue with our children as we discern together how to pass on the great Christian heritage of truth, love and justice from generation to generation.

The faith of the apostles and the splendid torch of the love of the God who saves is a gift that we intend to share with the entire world, beginning with our children.

This is who we are. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church.

We’re not sure where exactly we’re going, but we do know that the God who has outdone himself so far will continue to be with us through it all.