I have often wondered why something so simple as getting young adults engaged in parish life is such a mystery to the Church. (I am not speaking of the problem of young people leaving the church by the age of twenty, which is a different problem.) In my present parish, getting the young adults involved and active in parish life has taken a little time under the new pastor’s leadership, but it’s not rocket science:
Do the Catholic + Give Young Adults Room and Responsibility = Mission Accomplished.
How is this so hard?
The McCarrick scandals have answered that question.
I virtually never read One Peter Five, but when I do, it’s for this account of seminary life in the late 90’s in that bastion of orthodoxy the Diocese of Lincoln: Msgr. Kalin & #MeToo Conservatives.We have generations of priests now whose entire young adult years were consumed by abusive relationships. At a time when young people should be testing their mettle and learning to find their place in the world, our seminarians were being taught to comply-and-compromise. Do what the rector demands or else. No help from the bishop if you complain.
Of course these men have no idea how to mentor the young adults in their parish! They’ve never experienced what it is to be an adult with a healthy sense of self at all.
What’s my parish’s secret? A pastor with a late vocation.