The noise that you hear is the sound of feet. Are they leaving the Church or coming into the Church? The answer will depend on the actions you are about to take right here and right now.
2018 Study shows why young Catholics leave the church
There are the growing numbers of young Catholics leaving the church — the focus of a new national study to examine why they're departing and where they're landing. They are the growing numbers of young Catholics leaving the church — the focus of a new national study to examine why they’re departing and where they’re landing. It’s an issue that worries church leaders across the country.
“Leaving the [Catholic] church crosses all age groups, but the fastest-growing demographic is age 18 to 29,” said John Vitek, president of Saint Mary’s Press in Winona, which commissioned the study.
The youth of the Church are leaving.
Once they leave the church, more than a third report no religious affiliation and 29 percent switch to another Christian denomination.
Among other findings:
• Three in four said they stopped viewing themselves as Catholics between age 10 and 20.
• Nearly half said they were searching for spiritual practice in tune with their beliefs.
Pew Poll Sept. 2020
Approximately half of the teens (48%) say they have “all the same” religious beliefs as their parents.
Among the other half of teens – those who say they share “some of the same” beliefs or have “quite different” beliefs from their parents – about one-third (34%) say their parents don't know that they differ religiously. And 17% say this difference causes at least some conflict in their household.
Overall, most parents and teens have a good read of how important religion is in other’s life. For instance, 73% of teens give the same answer as their parents about how important religion is to the parent, and 68% of parents give the same answer as their teen about how important religion is to their teen. When parents and teens do not give the same answer, it is generally because parents are overestimating the importance of religion in their teen’s life, rather than underestimating it.
Most teens report attending religious services with either both (40%) or one (25%) of their parents.
Another 7% say they generally attend with other people, such as grandparents, other family members, or friends. Just 1% say they attend worship services alone. Roughly one-quarter say they never attend religious services or declined to answer the question.
Many teens and their parents engage in religious practices as a family in other ways as well. About six in ten teens (59%) say they “often” or “sometimes” talk about religion with their family, while about half of teens (48%) report saying grace – a prayer or blessing before a meal – with their family at least sometimes. A smaller share of teens (25%) say they commonly read religious scripture as a family.
The most interesting thing about this rush for the students to leave the Church is that it was predicted by Pope Leo III almost 140 years ago. The man who saw that the devil was going to fight the Church for the next 100 years- could he have also seen how it was going to play out? When we lose our youth we lose our future. Satan is waging a war with the Church through the future of the Church. The future of our Church is our youth, it is not our past. We know the past and we have conquered it. Why do we continually try to reinvent ourselves? Look at the words of Pope Leo XIII on this very subject
Pope Leo XIII. (1885). Spectata Fides.
In these days, and in the present condition of the world, when the tender age of childhood is threatened on every side by so many and such various dangers, hardly anything can be imagined more fitting than the union with literary instruction of sound teaching in faith and morals… For it is in and by these schools that the Catholic faith, our greatest and best inheritance, is preserved whole and entire. In these schools the liberty of parents is respected; and, what is most needed, especially in the prevailing license of opinion and of action, it is by these schools that good citizens are brought up for the State… The wisdom of our forefathers, and the very foundations of the State, are ruined by the destructive error of those who would have children brought up without religious education. You see, therefore Venerable Brethren, with what earnest forethought parents must beware of entrusting their children to schools in which they cannot receive religious teaching.
Listen to what he had to say. He explains full well what we need to hear. We can not win this war with Satan with one hand tied behind our back or if we lose our children and our families.
Remember the story is not written yet. You can stand up and do something about it. You can volunteer to be a religious education teacher at your Parish. You can if you are a teacher leave the public school system and join a Catholic School system. If you are a principal, think about joining a Catholic School system. The fight is not over. Our eyes are now opened wide and we clearly see that Satan is not going to win. God needs us now. God wants you to rise up and take a stand. Your future, your family’s future, and the Church’s future is in your hands. Now, this is the time to do something about this-right here and right now. Amen.