I look at my students and see our future ex-Catholics

October 23, 2015 | faith, family

My post over at Aleteia today:

When it comes to teenagers, you expect a certain amount of eye rolling and apathy, but put those same kids in a faith formation class for an hour and fifteen minutes at the end of a long school day and right at the dinner hour and you’ll see a level of teenage disinterest that could make you wither on the spot. That’s what my husband and I faced when we stood before the 21 high school sophomores we teach at our upstate New York parish.

The scene was nothing new and nothing unexpected. We taught most of the same kids last year since they’re in a two-year program that will culminate in confirmation this spring. However, I’m willing to wager that their apathy isn’t necessarily related to a surge of teenage surliness but rather to a lack of foundational catechesis, and I say that while having taught many of these kids in fourth and fifth grade. I have used every trick in the book—from group activities to stump-the-teacher sessions to outright bribery through baked ziti and brownies—to get these kids to hear me when I talk about the Mass, about the Gospel, about our beautiful Catholic teachings and traditions. Yet every year, when they reluctantly return to class, I find I’m grateful if even half of them remember the Our Father.

When I look out at these kids—regardless of age, regardless of whether they’ve gone to Catholic or public elementary school—I assume I am seeing 75 percent as future ex-Catholics.

Read more HERE.

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