What will the next generation of Catholics bring to the pews? Writer Ashley McGuire offers a glimpse:
On the Feast of the Holy Family, I went to Mass in my hometown’s Cathedral in Colorado Springs – a town many refer to as the “Evangelical Mecca.” The pews were full of Hispanic couples in their 20s and 30s, children tottered about in the aisles, and the baby-faced Mexican priest firmly admonished everyone in Spanish to obey Pope Benedict’s call to Catholics to hold fast to traditional family life.
Not long before that, I walked past the Catholic Information Center on a chilly, dark D.C. evening. Nestled amid the country’s most powerful lobbying firms on K Street, darkened for the night, the brightly lit bookstore was filled with young Catholics in suits sipping wine and flocking around the evening’s speaker, the head of a prominent think tank.
And Friday in Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of young Catholics in North Face and sneakers who have travelled in from all over the country will mark the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade by marching against abortion on the national Mall.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Great Catholic Awakening.
Pray, what do I mean?
The Great Catholic Awakening is a revival of Catholic orthodoxy among youth in the Catholic Church.
My generation of Catholics, men and women in their 20s and 30s, inherited a suffocating spiritual ennui inside the church and a culture of death, promiscuity, sadness, and fear outside her doors.
We were born into a world where millions of babies die of abortion annually, where countless more unborn babies are suspended silently in freezers, where we are told gender is random and marriage is amorphous and dissolvable.
We inherited hell on earth.
Some Catholics, like myself, are converts away from Protestantism, recognizing that the only institution in the world that has stood firm through the millennia on the most important social issues of the day is the Catholic Church.
Others grew up with rogue nuns, priests making up the liturgy, sex-abuse scandals, squishy bishops, etc.
And we’ve had enough.
But rather than walk away and embrace the hedonistic culture outside the church’s doors, we paused. We paused and turned around. We planted our feet firmly, and we stayed.
Our numbers are small but we are true to church teaching and there is no denying that we are growing.