There have been several jarring experiences I have had as a young priest. Visiting the dying, seeing tragedy unfold in the lives of many, and helping people cope with fear and grief after life-changing circumstances are a few.
However, even in what I have seen or experienced, nothing has been as jarring or startling as the following two facts:
- “Reliable data shows that half (50% exactly) of young Americans who were raised Catholic no longer call themselves Catholic today.”
- “…just 7% of young people raised in the Church still actively practice their faith today, meaning they still attend Mass weekly, pray a few times a week, and say their faith is “extremely” or “very” important to them.”
I learned both of these statistics reading a new book by Brandon Vogt, Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church. If you have not heard of it or read it, I highly recommend to check it out. Even if you are not a parent, the lessons within and overview of our current situation in our culture is spot on.
In any case, you read that right. While exactly half of young Americans who were raised Catholic still identify as Catholic, only 7 percent of young Americans who identify as Catholic still go to mass on Sunday, pray even a few times per week, or would say their faith is important to them.
My dream and hope with Region Catholic, Inc. is that there is even one person out there who could be reached to at least acknowledge God in their lives, let alone full on convert. It takes more than a podcast or website to do that. However, if we are going to bring anyone back, we need to equip ourselves with the tools to invite them back. A life of prayer, a knowledge of some theology, and tangible tips of accompany someone on their faith journey are at the bedrock of getting people back.
The hope of the content of this blog is to do just that. To help its readers to enliven their prayer, teach them some theology, and show them the basics of how to lead the very people in their own lives to encounter Jesus Christ and His Church. That is it means to take the faith “Beyond the Region.” Beyond a podcast, beyond a social media page, and beyond a website.
So what do you say? Are you in?