Millennial Catholics and the Church

Timothy O’Malley, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, has an outstanding article at Patheos on millennial Catholics and the Church. He writes:

“They eschew a form of clericalism in which ordination bestows every human gift possible; yet, they love priests, seeing them as signs of an alternative way of happiness in the world, of radical self-gift. They are frustrated and even angered by approaches to catechesis that did not treat them as thinking Catholics. They are tired of tepid preaching, bad liturgical music, and churches that are modeled off of the latest shopping mall. They read John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis — at the very same time. They are philosophers, scientists, engineers, lawyers, and those who give themselves over to full ecclesial ministry as priest or lay person. They get married and have families, offering their particular talents in the context of parishes throughout the United States. They have encountered a Catholicism that is not reducible to party politics but offers an integral vision of human life.

Yet the problem in today’s Church is a reticence to invite these very millennials into positions of leadership. National ministry organizations, as well as the USCCB, continue to bemoan the absence of millennials in the Church only to pass over the remarkable millennials already in the Church….Parishes often see these millennial Catholics as passive recipients for the reception of sacramental grace, rather than active disciples, who could be catalysts for parish life — preachers and teachers for the present generation.”

I highly recommend reading the full article, which is very thoughtful and nuanced and can be found here.