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 [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections— The Eucharistic Congress and the Missionary Year
By Dr. James Pauley
Catholics in the United States have a long history of hosting both national and international Eucharistic congresses. The first of these was in Washington, DC, in 1895, and the last was in Philadelphia in 1976. If your ancestors were Catholic and lived in North America, they may have participated in one of these congresses—in St. Louis (1901), or... Read more
Missionary Worship
By Sr. Jude Andrew Link, OP
There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in nearly every culture across history: man ritualizes worship. All over the world the similarities are astounding—animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, gifts of grain, the joy of ecstatic praise. It points to a universal sense within man that not only recognizes that there is a God but also knows that... Read more
Ask, Seek, Knock: The Pitfalls and Potential of Catholic Door-to-Door Evangelization
By Joshua Kenny
“He’s just too small,” sobbed a woman we had just met. It was a sunny summer day, and the pastor, transitional deacon, and I were out knocking on doors within our parish boundaries. This woman’s door was within eyesight of the rectory, and it happened to be the first one we had visited. The conversation had started off just as awkwardly as one... 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