Before Synod on Young People, Millennial Catholics Share Their Perspectives

via OSV Newsweekly:

Our Sunday Visitor sought to provide an even wider sample of notable Catholics age 30 and under in the United States, what animates them in the good work they’re doing and what challenges they see facing young people today….

In a field such as social justice, it can be hard, as Edith Avila Olea said, when “wins seem so incremental” and one’s advocacy can be “undone with the stroke of a pen.” She is driven by faith and love as well as the wisdom of both St. Teresa of Calcutta — whose idea that love is one’s only job — and Blessed Oscar Romero. As the justice and peace associate director of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, Olea sees her role as that of “just another gardener watering the plants set before [her] and planting new seeds others will grow.”…

Though she works for a secular newspaper and writes and edits columns on a wide variety of subjects currently on the minds and social media feeds of many Americans — some recent columns have discussed President Donald Trump’s nationalism, the fairness of the economy and the verdict of former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar’s trial — Elizabeth Bruenig doesn’t see her work as purely secular. Inspired by St. Augustine, who also helped bring about her conversion to Catholicism, Bruenig said that she likes “the idea of trying to shed some light for Christians who are wondering, well, where does faith fit into this [political or broader cultural] circumstance?”…

Unlike many young adults of her generation, Jordan Denari Duffner discovered her vocation early — something she said Pope Francis regularly promotes and which she hopes young adults take to heart. As a junior in high school, she said her family received an anti-Muslim chain email. It was a defining moment in her journey of helping Catholics and Muslims — more broadly, all religions — better relate and dialogue with each other and to see the opportunities in religious diversity rather than the challenges….

As assistant editor of Education for Justice, a project of Center for Concern, Anna Misleh helps to inform readers about the many social justice issues prevalent in the world, including human rights abuses and mass migration, and their solutions found in the teachings of Catholic social tradition. Her work, which involves publishing, marketing, social media, speaking at conferences and many other tasks, seems a natural fit for one who as a child attended marches in Washington, D.C., discussed injustice and politics at the dinner table with her family, and in high school and college went on service trips to places such as Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Vietnam and Rome.

You can check out the full article with all of the millennial Catholic profiles here.