The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Mystagogy and the Empty Tomb

Authored by Bob Sutton in Issue #4.2 of Catechetical Review
The sea change in the approach that American teens and young adults take in regard to Christian faith just in the last decade has been rapid, palpable, and sometimes stunning. We live in a time in which “nearly half of cradle Catholics who become ‘unaffiliated’ are gone by age eighteen. Nearly 80 percent are gone and 71 percent have already taken on an ‘unaffiliated’ identity by their early twenties.” According to Jean Twenge, a professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, the experience of faith has been complicated even further by the staggering increase in social media usage among these same teens and young adults, which has been accompanied by a correlative increase in feelings of depression, joylessness, and uselessness—as well a significant increase in suicide attempts. One of the most notable attributes of this generation, which Twenge calls “the iGen generation,” is its marked aversion to practicing, or even identifying with, Christianity. We have seen many of these same trends in the high school in which I have taught theology and operated as campus minister during the last twelve years, but our overwhelming experience is that underlying most teenagers’ sense of disconnect from Christ and/or their Catholic faith is a sense of pain and confusion caused by suffering in their lives. Even when they do not share these things openly, we know that our students have suffered through broken homes, health problems, various kinds of anxiety and depressive disorders, romantic breakups, betrayal from friends, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and every other imaginable problem. Knowing that the students don’t always have the desire or, in some cases, the ability to share these things, we make it a priority to find a way for them to share it with the Lord.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Encountering God in Catechesis
By Catechists' Personal Testimonies
For Communion Growing up Protestant, sacraments seemed fairly irrelevant to me. It was not until I turned fifteen that I decided to get baptized because I knew that if I accepted the terms of what baptism meant, by Protestant standards, then I needed to truly accept Christ and all that it meant to follow him. As a Methodist, I always wanted to be... Read more
Viaticum: Sacred Food for the Final Journey
By Fr. Tyron Tomson
We never know which Holy Communion might be our last. We make a big deal of our First Communion, and rightly so. But why don’t we have a strong catechesis and spirituality of Viaticum, that final time we receive the Body of Christ before our soul leaves our own body to meet him? As a Church, perhaps we are missing a robust eucharistic spirituality... Read more
From the Shepherds – A Half Century of Progress: The Church’s Ministry of Catechesis, Part Three
By Monsignor John Pollard
The General Catechetical Directory (1971) – Catechesi Tradendae (1979) In this series of articles exploring a rather extraordinary fifty-year period in the Church’s catechetical mission, we have already considered the impact of the six International Catechetical Study Weeks. We now turn our attention to three pivotal catechetical documents... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now