Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Where are the 20 and 30 something Catholics?

I've an active Catholic for 5 years now.  It was a total leap of faith coming from a fundamentalist Bible thumping background.  But becoming Catholic is the best thing I ever did.  I don't have to struggle to find myself spiritually.  As a matter of fact being Catholic has freed me from the faith of my youth, a faith I found hard to embrace in a practical way.  I've come from a background that was very hostile and closed minded towards other faiths.

In the last 5 years, I have noticed that the Catholic faith is aging faster than it is getting younger.  I have found out that the average age of the people attending Mass look more like my parent and grandparents than my age. Most people who are my age are just married or have been married (with small kids) for at least 10 years.  My group is small and seems to be getting smaller by the day.  I have discovered two things about why there are no 20-30 somethings attending Mass:

1. They have become disillusioned by the faith of their parents.  The Catholic faith is old and doesn't seem to apply to them anymore or to daily life.  The Catholic Church fails to connect with people who are addicted to today's technology and therefore is out of touch with reality.

2.  The Generation of X and Y are being drawn to a more lively and "more inclusive" faith in today's Evangelical  churches.  The Evangelical churches understand how to reach people and make them feel welcome.  They have harnessed the New Media of blogging, computers, internet and apps that make the Evangelical church relevant to Generations X and Y.

I'll be the first one to admit that I find myself wishing for the Catholic Church to play catch up with the current age.  I also find myself attending Mass wishing that the priest would preach with a Power Point. Or anything that would make me feel more active in the parish.

So, I will challenge the Generations X and Y who have stayed behind and embrace their Catholic faith.  Until the Vatican and the teaching church can find a successful way to apply and harness the internet and social media, we need to step up and reach out through the media we are accustomed to.  The Vatican isn't going to do this overnight but we can we the touch of an app or blogg.