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I know some people like giggles likes to say the number of Catholics is growing but here is a direct refutation of that...I found this over at AQ...

As growing numbers leave, the Archdiocese of Detroit tries to keep young people in the flock

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
DETROIT FREE PRESS
July 11, 2010
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...ullarticle


For some, the numbers are sobering.


Catholics in the U.S. have experienced the greatest percentage point loss of members of any major faith or denomination, according to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. One out of 10 Americans say they are ex-Catholic. About 32% of people raised as Catholics leave the religion.


So the Archdiocese of Detroit is reaching out in new ways to members in their 20s and 30s to help keep them in the fold. It now has four regional ministries that reach out to young adults. Programs include everything from camping trips to fireworks, Tigers games, movie nights, as well as volunteer work in local churches and missions in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.


But some say the church’s attempts may not be enough to stem the tide.


Young adults leaving the Catholic faith “is an extremely serious problem that the church needs to deal with,” said Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. “If any corporation in the United States lost a third of its customers, they would be spending millions of dollars to try to find out why.”

Archdiocese takes new approach
Inside a bustling Greektown restaurant on a recent summer night, the din of drinkers and diners echoed throughout the Detroit spot.

But in one corner on the second floor, a group of young adults listened attentively as John Lajiness, a Catholic evangelist from Warren, talked about the importance of faith in the workplace.

"People who would never walk in the door of any church would be more likely to come to something like this," Lajiness said of the gathering. It was part of a weekly Summer in the City series that brought young Catholics together after work for mass followed by discussions at restaurants on topics not normally addressed in church -- everything from workplace challenges to sex.

The series, which wrapped up last month, was part of an outreach program by the Archdiocese of Detroit that tries to reach young adults in casual settings as growing numbers leave the Catholic faith.

"It's a nonthreatening environment for them to ask questions without them being judged," Rakhi McCormick, associate director for youth, young adults and campus ministry with the Archdiocese of Detroit, said after a night out with the group in Greektown. "It's an open place for those not comfortable in a church."

Americans who were raised Catholic are more likely to leave their faith as adults compared with other major religions, according to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Almost one-third of Americans raised Catholic leave their religion for another faith or no faith at all.

'It's very beneficial'
In the past, the assumption was that young Catholics who drift away for a few years would eventually come back, especially after they got married and had kids. But that's no longer true, say local Catholics and experts.

"There used to be an attitude of, 'Oh, they'll always come back when they get married,' but that's just not the case," said Carla Talbot, 26, of Livonia, who handles young adult programs for the southern part of the six-county archdiocese. "The research is showing they're not coming back to get married or baptized."

The new programs give young adults a way to connect with the church as well as with one another.

Tara Stenger, 26, of Royal Oak met her future husband at an Italian restaurant through a program called Theology on Tap, which brings together young Catholics in informal settings.

"They are an awesome source of community," Stenger said of the programs. "You're with people with the same age, same life journeys and same faith."

Her husband, Bob Stenger, 31, said the sessions helped him to deepen his understanding of his faith.

"Unfortunately, there is a lot of anti-Catholic stuff out there," Stenger said. "So it helps to have a priest answering questions. ... It's very beneficial."

Such efforts are especially needed during a time when the Catholic Church finds itself under fire for its handling of the priest abuse cases, and for its views on a range of social issues that critics may find outdated.

Temptations to leave strong
But some say programs such as Theology on Tap are "only touching a very, very small number of young adult Catholics," said Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. "It's not really dealing with the hemorrhaging going on in the church."

According to the Pew survey, more than 31% of Americans said they were raised Catholic. But just under 24% said they are now Catholic, a 7.5 percentage point drop that is the highest among all religions and denominations. The main thing keeping the Catholic population stable in the U.S., say Reese and others, is Latino immigration. Without that, the decline would be larger.

The decrease in metro Detroit and other similar areas stems, in part, from the fading of white ethnic neighborhoods -- such as Polish and Italian -- that often centered on parishes. When member families flocked to the suburbs and the communities dispersed, those families were less likely to feel a connection with the church.

The growing pull of nondenominational churches with their modern entertainment also lures Catholics away.

"The mega churches offer a really welcoming atmosphere," Talbot said. "They set people on fire."

Reese said, " You go into a Catholic Church, nobody says 'hello' to you. ... You walk into an evangelical church, there are five people whose job it is to notice you, introduce you, show you around, tell you about the church. They are very welcoming. That makes a difference."

In contrast, Sunday mass can seem boring to young Catholics who grew up on cable TV, the Internet and video games.

The solution is to find innovative programs, but without comprising on the church's principles.

Some see church as "an event to be entertained at," Stenger said. "You have the big-screen TVs, you can drink Starbucks there. It's just something the Catholic Church will never do. It probably loses an element who are looking to be entertained instead of that quiet hour of reflection and prayer."

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I have to say I disagree with the article...the only thing they got right is that people are leaving the Church. But they got the reasons and solutions all wrong...the solution is to have an actual Catholic Mass with priests who actually know and teach Catholic truth. We have had almost 50 years of rock concert Masses and kids are still leaving the Church...so I don't think "boredom" is the problem. I do see growth in the Traditional Communities though and boredom doesn't seem to be a problem there.



(07-13-2010, 01:51 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]We have had almost 50 years of rock concert Masses and kids are still leaving the Church...so I don't think "boredom" is the problem. I do see growth in the Traditional Communities though and boredom doesn't seem to be a problem there.
No, no, no all the rock concert masses and know nothing priests just haven't had enough time to work, lets keep the faith watered down to an unrecognisable level, that's what young people are looking for. That, plus $5 ;D
You'd think priests/bishops would wake up, but frankly, you can't blame people for leaving. The question to ask isn't why are they leaving, but why would they stay? Without the truth what's the point Huh?
As a matter of fact Michael Voris spoke on this topic on July 12th.  He particularly notes the archdiocese of Detroit where he is from. 

http://www.realcatholictv.com/daily/vort.php
It seems to continue becoming more and more obvious to me that the Church is probably going to have to settle for being much smaller than she's used to.  It's unfortunate, but we just can't expect the numbers of parishoners we'd like.

Of course that ought to be irrelevant to how the Church behaves over all (though some details ought to change, as Paul became "all things to all people") operates.  And she certainly shouldn't be doing some of the silly things people want her to do in the name of Our Lord only knows what.

I do think meetings in restaurants/bars are good for young people (as long as those locations don't have bad reputations), but will can they pull those young people into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?  That's the real question.
If they don't do it out of love for God, they might as well not even bother.  That's the missing link in all of these things.  The love of God has been left out.  We don't always want to get up and go to Mass on Sunday, but we do it out of love for God and His Commandments.  That's what's wrong with the new Mass.  God is left out, if not secondary.

We're so worried about how we "feeeeel" that He gets left out of the equation.  Sure it's cool to talk to others about our Faith, but without that love we have nothing.  That's what we have to teach our little ones, love of God.  Then they will grow to be good Catholics.  Get back to that basic and the churches will be full again.  jmho
(07-13-2010, 06:05 PM)dymphna17 Wrote: [ -> ]If they don't do it out of love for God, they might as well not even bother.  That's the missing link in all of these things.  The love of God has been left out.  We don't always want to get up and go to Mass on Sunday, but we do it out of love for God and His Commandments.  That's what's wrong with the new Mass.  God is left out, if not secondary.

We're so worried about how we "feeeeel" that He gets left out of the equation.  Sure it's cool to talk to others about our Faith, but without that love we have nothing.  That's what we have to teach our little ones, love of God.  Then they will grow to be good Catholics.  Get back to that basic and the churches will be full again.  jmho
I believe you're on to something here.
I have read articles that site numbers like this the part they don't tell the whole story.

There is also the fact that Catholics are the second at most conversions.

Usually articles like these are pushed to promote some sort of dumb initiative or to make Catholics feel bad about being Catholic. 
The average Catholic church in the U.S. is built to cater to aging boomers. Therefore it's completely irrelevant to young people unless they naturally have a Bible-thumping personality, and in that case, they'll likely make their way into an evangelical Protestant church. I'm far more surprised by the ones who do stay, rather than the ones who leave, and wonder if there's something wrong with the former.

What these churches don't exist for is building serious Catholics, much less saints.


Trad churches have a similar problem, to a much lesser degree. There is not much for young people to do until they get married or join a religious order. Young singlehood is a sort of limbo where you're dead to everyone else. I sometimes wonder why I still bother sticking around, but I do it because I believe (which is the point of being Christian in the first place, right? I distinctly remember hearing something along the lines of "credo in unum Deum" from some place...) And maybe because I believe I'm making the world a better place by being an active Christian.
As a 24 year old convert to Catholicism who later slid to the traditional side of things, I must say you seem to be having similar problems to me, Harlequin.  Not really sure what to do about it.  I've got my three Catholic friends (one attends FSSP, one is Byzantine, and one goes to more reverent OF's with his wife) and that's about it.  The pastor of the FSSP chapel near my house is great, but the social life...uhh...who said anything about fellowship?

It's not like I'm expecting much.  I was raised Baptist and it was the same way - since I was more serious about learning the faith and not into the rock band-style services I got ignored there, same problem now with OF, and...not much to be found within more traditional circles.  How do we fix this?
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