The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Youth & Young Adult Ministry: Free to Hope

Authored by Kris Frank in Issue #9.1 of Catechetical Review

As I write this article, I'm nursing the tail end of a mild bout of COVID-19. I don’t share that for pity but to point out how much the world has changed in the past few years. Before this decade, I didn't know what a novel coronavirus was. Everything I understood about pandemics was mainly picked up from disaster movies. Social distancing was only a dream my introverted wife possessed in her heart. And the virus that demanded fear as it first swept across the planet is now so common that it's possible to write an article while infected. Though we can celebrate the medical advances and technology that have helped us fight COVID-19, as the dust still settles on the pandemic, we are just now getting a real glimpse of how all this has affected today’s youth.

The CDC recently released a study revealing that over one-third of high schoolers have experienced poor mental health since the pandemic. At the same time, almost half acknowledge a persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness.[i] Perhaps these stats are surprising, or maybe they are not; teens’ general mental health and well-being were on the decline long before COVID-19. However, we would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the unique needs that young people now face. Though vaccinations and vitamins may combat the virus, it will take something far more powerful to heal these more profound ailments now facing teens’ interior life. To find the answers to the deepest sorrows of this life, we must turn our minds to the next one. The virtue of hope helps us do just that.

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “New CDC data illuminate youth mental health threats during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDC Newsroom, March 31, 2022,

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

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: “Freedom For” and “Freedom From”
By Dr. James Pauley
Free What is freedom? Here in America, we sing that ours is “the land of the free.” But, of course, building a free society requires that we put laws in place that actually limit some freedoms. We recognize that these limitations are for the good of our common community. It’s clear in our day-to-day living that human freedom, the ideal for which we... Read more
Evangelization and Personal Freedom
By James Franke
If someone is married, in love, or has ever been in love, they can likely tell you when they knew they were in love and, more importantly, when they knew their significant other was in love with them. It’s also likely that one of the individuals fell in love first. Their heart had been moved and they had “arrived” to love. After having arrived,... Read more
Freedom and Conscience 
By Fr. Jay Mello
Free Jiminy Cricket was no theologian or philosopher, but in the Disney Classic Pinocchio, the talking cricket was assigned to serve as the “conscience” for the puppet who was made a “real boy.” The innocent puppet that is familiar to all of us was instructed to follow his conscience in the pursuit of being a good boy. Unaware of what a conscience is... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

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

Watch Now