How many children stay Catholic into adulthood?
#1
Hello everyone, I am fairly new to Catholic tradition but it seems to be what I want for my life and the life of my family. I have been attending an SSPX chapel for about a year and a half with my wife and while I love it I do notice that the age gap 18 - 30 seems to be missing here just as much as it was at my old diocesan church. I do not expect utopia from the SSPX but I just am trying to find a place in this world to hold onto the embers of civilization and raise my children with the faith. 

I posted on another forum asking about how many children raised in traditional catholic environments remain faithful and the results I got were very saddening, extreme doom and gloom saying the vast majority of children raised in a traditional environment reject the faith and do not return. The anecdotal evidence that I was given regarding schools run by the SSPX (which I was considering moving to a location with one) was terrible with one poster saying that out of a class of 25 only one was still practicing the faith.

I just wanted to know if the outlook is as bad as it seems so if you guys have any statistics or anything it would be appreciated. If nothing else at least some anecdotal evidence that corroborates or disagrees with what I have been told. Thank you and God bless you.
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#2
Most data on the traditional Catholic movement is anecdotal and incomplete.  One general trend observed in the social sciences, though, is that conservative religions do a much better job of raising children that will remain in the family's faith.  Some traditionalists can be overbearing, though, with their children and the end result is what you've hearing about: apostasy.  Here is an excellent article that will help you chart a course to minimize that risk for your own children: https://www.fisheaters.com/domesticchurch.html
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#3
If I can provide my own anecdotal evidence.

At my SSPX chapel, I notice that there is a larger number of young men, most of whom are converts to Catholicism from a whole array of backgrounds. I haven't seen too many women who are in that age range, but they are there. 

Also, I agree what Seeker says above. If your Catholic faith becomes a tool to control your family, don't expect them to stick around when the time comes and they are able to leave. I'm not saying that fathers and mothers shouldn't be strict with their children, or set clear moral standards, but it should always be remembered that these are means to an end (the love of Christ and salvation) and not an end in and of themselves. 

And the world can be an intensely alluring place, especially for the young and the inexperienced. Even if your mother and father did everything right, even if you left home with a good foundation and life of devotion, you are still going to have to enter combat with the world, the flesh and the devil. This is one reason I think young men and young women should get married sooner rather than later, but that is a topic for another day.

I would also emphasize this: 
Quote:Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4

Never succumb to doom and gloom. It is poison to the spiritual life.
"Especially will I do this if the Lord make known to me that you come together man by man in common through grace, individually, in one faith, and in Jesus Christ... so that you obey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, but which causes that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ." St. Ignatius of Antioch

"But Polycarp... waving his hand towards them, while with groans he look up to heaven, said, 'Away with the Atheists.'" Martyrdom of Polycarp
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#4
(07-27-2020, 01:36 PM)Justin Tertius Wrote: If I can provide my own anecdotal evidence.

At my SSPX chapel, I notice that there is a larger number of young men, most of whom are converts to Catholicism from a whole array of backgrounds. I haven't seen too many women who are in that age range, but they are there. 

Also, I agree what Seeker says above. If your Catholic faith becomes a tool to control your family, don't expect them to stick around when the time comes and they are able to leave. I'm not saying that fathers and mothers shouldn't be strict with their children, or set clear moral standards, but it should always be remembered that these are means to an end (the love of Christ and salvation) and not an end in and of themselves. 

And the world can be an intensely alluring place, especially for the young and the inexperienced. Even if your mother and father did everything right, even if you left home with a good foundation and life of devotion, you are still going to have to enter combat with the world, the flesh and the devil. This is one reason I think young men and young women should get married sooner rather than later, but that is a topic for another day.

I would also emphasize this: 
Quote:Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4

Never succumb to doom and gloom. It is poison to the spiritual life.
Yeah, I will just try my best and hopefully set a good example for my children. I think a lot of people that are in my situation (recently coming to tradition) expect traditionalist Catholic parishes to be a time machine back to a more comfortable time. I know that Catholic families no matter what mass they attend have to struggle with the influences of the outside world. As the world has been accelerating towards madness the past few months I have found myself wanting to retreat into a conservative Catholic stronghold but it appears it is still up to us to build such strongholds since they do not already exist for us.
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#5
I have some thoughts on this from observation of families with older children than mine.  

There are some who attend the TLM and go to a lot of cocktail parties and fail to monitor their children while complaining about the modern church.  Their kids tend to go to public school for high school after years of homeschooling or parochial school - because it got too hard or there are no other options.  Guess what happens?  The world creeps into their lives from all directions and parents aren't watching - or perhaps don't even know what to do.  These parents show up to Mass with a frown on their face - the whole family looking angry or miserable or both.  Faith becomes a point of contention and things fall apart from there.  Do those kids even have a shot when mom and dad don't think twice about sending them to some liberal abomination of a college indoctrination camp?

There are other really, really good parents who try super hard and, failing a truly Catholic option, select a school that at least has character education or serves a child's need.  They are still deeply involved in their children's lives.  Their kids tend to do fine and have more solid connections in the TLM community.  

I think a faith lived joyfully, vibrantly, and communally is essential.  Joy - love - faith - they are all infectious.
Adoption, Home School, and Catholic Family Life:  StolenPears.com
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#6
Kids need decent/sane/fun peer groups. What peer groups are there like that for trads? Whom will trad kids date and marry?

This is one of the reasons why re-building trad communities is crucial, and why I've said that trads need to arrange more social things for young people.

What Justin Tertius said above is also true. Those who use traditional Catholicism to fuel their religious addiction and control-freak needs will fail -- and likely take souls to Hell with them.
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#7
My own personal experience as a teacher in traditional Catholic schools is that the name of the group who says Mass has very little to do with whether children keep the Faith.

The biggest factor is family and how active a role both parents take in using the opportunities they have.

Big school or small. SSPX or not, if the parents are active in the school, support the priests and teachers, give the example in generosity with the chapel's activities, provide a "normal" but Catholic environment, work to have the children have good friends with other good Catholics, and inspire the children to excel, most will keep the Faith and be pillars of the Church. If a chapel has a good school then such a child and family will provide the school material to work with and do an excellent job in formation.

If parents are lackadaisical, treat church activities as of second importance to social activities or sports, spoil the kids with technology and toys, do not demand a virtuous discipline, allow the kids to have questionable or bad friends, only somewhat support the priests and school, and do not demand excellence, few if any will keep the Faith. A school then has little formable matter, because they are constantly working against the bad influences of the family.

That's one reason, that especially for boys, I'm a big fan of boarding schools. A few generations of this, and we would fix up a lot of the bad family issues.

In my experience as well, though, a traditional Catholic environment provides the best chance at success because of what it provides by way of support. Traditional Catholcism, however, is just the "oven" in which to bake the bread. It's the deluxe convection oven with lots of protections and special features, and steam injection to ensure the perfect crusty loaf with a soft center is produced ... but even the best oven only can work on the materials provided. Put in badly prepared dough, and you won't get a nice loaf.
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#8
(07-27-2020, 02:14 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: I have some thoughts on this from observation of families with older children than mine.  

There are some who attend the TLM and go to a lot of cocktail parties and fail to monitor their children while complaining about the modern church.  Their kids tend to go to public school for high school after years of homeschooling or parochial school - because it got too hard or there are no other options.  Guess what happens? 
I speak from a very limited perspective, but it reports on a first-gen cohort of post-conciliar outliers. My best friend's family in 7th-8th grade, as we both attended parish school, went to a "renegade monsignor's" Tridentine chapel nearby. Made an anathema to the rest of us. I would have never attended nor anyone else I knew, and I grew up in an insular Catholic environment. He and his large family of siblings then attended public high school, as their parents did not trust any of the local Catholic alternatives. Few of which even then had many priests, brothers, or sisters around, by 1975. Then all of the children drifted away. One sister raised a child as a teen. I don't think any of the children have remained Catholic. An uneven but apt memoir, Waiting for the Apocalypse by Veronica Chater, raised 400 miles from me in our California, parallels this narrative in time. Her family admittedly was probably more fringe; in 1972, when she was nine, they awaited the Great Chastisement. They moved near to Fatima. But they predictably returned, to Latin Masses in garages-- in what's now called Silicon Valley. She does not practice the faith now; and (not sure as I read it a long time ago) I think the same goes for her nine brothers and sisters.
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people may hear today (Francis of Assisi); Win an argument, lose a soul (Fulton Sheen)
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#9
(07-27-2020, 01:50 PM)HopefulCatholicDad Wrote: Yeah, I will just try my best and hopefully set a good example for my children. I think a lot of people that are in my situation (recently coming to tradition) expect traditionalist Catholic parishes to be a time machine back to a more comfortable time. I know that Catholic families no matter what mass they attend have to struggle with the influences of the outside world. As the world has been accelerating towards madness the past few months I have found myself wanting to retreat into a conservative Catholic stronghold but it appears it is still up to us to build such strongholds since they do not already exist for us.

Sadly, the only reason it seems like a time machine is because of the fracture that occurred 60 years ago.  Someone going to Mass in 1940 probably didn't feel like they went into a time machine because they knew they were worshiping as their ancestors did in 1840, 1640, etc.

I will admit that many "Novus Ordo" parishes are also a time machine, to 1969.

You are correct; you can't just "turn off" the outside world.  For anyone with a stomach for it (and I don't recommend this at all), one need only read through the reddit forums of "ex-Catholics," and many of them come from too strict of an upbringing in a Traditional environment.  Then, these people get out into the rest of the world and resent their families for sheltering them; they believe they were indoctrinated at a young age and never had freedom.  I'm just summarizing very, very briefly what I've read.
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#10
(07-31-2020, 09:11 PM)LionHippo Wrote: (snip)

You are correct; you can't just "turn off" the outside world.  For anyone with a stomach for it (and I don't recommend this at all), one need only read through the reddit forums of "ex-Catholics," and many of them come from too strict of an upbringing in a Traditional environment.  Then, these people get out into the rest of the world and resent their families for sheltering them; they believe they were indoctrinated at a young age and never had freedom.  I'm just summarizing very, very briefly what I've read.
 
Over-sheltering, over-protectiveness, larping and doing things/expecting things that make a kid feel like a freak (e.g., the "Catholic Amish" stuff, the "Carrie's Mother Syndrome"), making a kid feel stupid and uncool by mistaking ignorance for innocence and virtue, acting out of fear or a need for control rather than love and actual need, failing to arm a kid against Protestant and secular arguments, failing to make sure he knows the reasons why we do what we do and believe what we believe, failing to help a kid knows how to entertain himself, being overly rigid (e.g., when it comes to traditional sex roles, forcing kids into boxes they don't fit into, etc.), overreacting to the world (e.g., misogyny as a reaction to the sexual anarchy that abounds), a toxic marriage, lack of a sense of humor and fun, Puritanism, scruples, introvert parents failing to "get" the needs of extrovert kids, and failing to make sure kids have healthy peer groups (KEY) -- these will likely result in failure. "Toxic traddism" scares the Hell out of me.
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