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Of Note – November 2019

Of Note November 2019

Let’s face it, we are all busy, modern women and we just don’t have the time or the energy to vet or read everything the Catholic blogosphere has to offer. We have streamlined that for you and offer you the most worthy, relevant reads that will keep you informed and in-tune without wasting your precious time. Each month, on the first Friday, you can find Of Note filled with posts that are inspiring, knowledgeable, cover current events, and liturgical living.

We are continually looking for new and lesser known bloggers to feature here on Of Note. If you write a blog or know of one we should take a look at leave a link in the combox or email me at: OfNote@CatholicSistas.com


Are you following our Christmas Shopping Challenge, a series prepping for Advent on Facebook? I sure am! For several years I’ve worked at getting all the Christmas shopping done before the first Sunday of Advent and let me tell you, it makes a huge difference in how I observe Advent. I can’t recommend it enough.

Let’s take a look at what is happening in the world of Catholic blogging.

Liturgical Living

If you are reading this on the day it is published, it is the Feast of All Saints. Kendra of Catholic All Year has a great post on how you and your family can observe All Hallowtide and pray for the dead.

Our own Allison Gingras recently wrote about the beautiful All Souls Novena, which begins today. There is a plenary indulgence attached to this devotion. Check it out here.

These beautiful lace cookies from My Catholic Kitchen are much easier to make than they look and are a lovely way to celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria on November 25th.

Hidden Gems

Ginny of Not So Formulaic wrote a wonderful post comparing the shortcomings of secular growth mindset to the truly superior Catholic growth mindset

Kathryn of Team Whitaker blogs about why she’s tabled the Instagram micro-blog in favor of macro-blogging, which is what this series is all about. Her perspective is right on target.

The Professionals

Have you heard Audrey Assad’s new collaboration with Porter’s Gate? J-P Mauro writes about it here and has a link to the song “Nothing to Fear” contained within. Take a listen. It’s a beautifully written song paired with gorgeous music and vocals.

Brad Miner writes a review of the movie “Love and Mercy”–the new film about Saint Faustina. I missed seeing this in theaters but I plan on finding it on DVD or a streaming service when it comes to one of those formats.

The Kingship of Christ was celebrated in the Traditional Latin Rite this past Sunday.  It will be celebrated in the Novus Ordo on November 24th this year. Steve Skojec writes about the very Catholic teaching regarding the social kingship of Christ.

Ink Slingers

I love Michelle’s hilarious Facebook posts. I love it even more when she blogs. This story had me in stitches.

From the Archives

In preparation for Advent, Michelle wrote this fantastic post, including her own examination of conscience, for Catholic Sistas a few years ago.

 

Categories
Doctrine Faith Formation Guest Posts Liturgical Year Parenting Prayer Resources Vocations

Our Children are Leaving the Church. Here’s What We Can Do About It

In 1996, I graduated from 12 years of Catholic education.

I went to Mass with my classmates. We prayed together on retreats. We sat in theology class and learned everything we could about the Catholic faith and its history.

My graduating class had 210 people in it.

Less than 25% of us are still practicing the faith.

While it would be comforting to view my experience as a statistical anomaly, the truth is that it is not. I see the same attrition rate when I survey the Catholic high school students I used to work with. There are five households on my street headed by adults with Catholic backgrounds. Only one of them – mine – still practices the faith.

It’s a pretty sobering reality, even more so when we take a look at independent research studies on kids in the faith. In August of 2016, Dr. Mark Gray released the results of a study on millennials age 15-25 who were no longer practicing Catholics. He and his colleagues at Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate discovered the following:

  • The average age at which respondents left the Church was 13
  • 63% of those interviewed reported leaving the Church between the ages of 10 and 17
  • 20% of those interviewed reported leaving the Church prior to the age of 10

The findings certainly line up with my own experience and beg the question: why are young people walking away? Not only that, why are they walking away at an age most people would assume to be a safe zone for catechesis?

Don’t most Catholic children live in Catholic homes with Catholic parents? Shouldn’t that be enough?

As Dr. Gray discovered, the answer is a resounding no. Young people are naturally hungry for the Truth our Church offers. But for a variety of reasons (our secular culture notwithstanding), our kids aren’t getting fed the way they should. As Gray delved more deeply into the roots of his statistical analysis, he learned a number of things about the youth involved in his study.

  • Many of the respondents felt Catholicism lacked personal connection. They believed Church teachings had no relevance to their personal lives
  • Some found Church teachings to be fantastical and fairytale-like in nature. Their questions about faith weren’t answered sufficiently; therefore, the whole thing was a lie
  • Still others could not reconcile the disconnect between Church teaching and social behaviors. Why should they abide by artificial rules generally ignored by society at large?

Add to this the reality that our STEM-driven culture boasts a number of atheist and agnostic stars and you have a recipe for disaster. No matter how deeply we strive to provide a solid background in Catechesis for our children, our kids face a quasi-intellectual, secular humanist assault.

While to some extent our children’s faith journeys are up to them and their own relationship with God and the Church, we can do a great deal to give them a leg up against the onslaught of secular thought:

Liturgical Living

By grounding your family’s faith in the liturgical year, your children will begin to see the relevance of Church teaching beyond the parish doors. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even Pinterest-perfect. Simple activities are more than enough.

Discussion

If we really want our kids to remain strong in their faith, one of the best things we can do for them is to show them the root of everything we believe. Think of it this way: are you Catholic because your parents were or you went through Catholic education? Or are you Catholic because you had questions and you sought out the truth?

Catholicism has a rich and beautiful tradition of rational, intellectual thought. Delve into the Catechism and the work of Saints and Church theologians with your children. Help them see where all of it comes from.

Resources

There are a number of catechetical resources available for use in Catholic homes. From the Catechism of the Seven Sacraments to the Friendly Defenders Flashcard set, there are solid, engaging books and activities we can use to help our kids learn more about the faith.

Personally, I am partial to a series I started for my own children called To Hear His Voice: A Mass Journal for Catholic Kids. Featuring the full text of the Sunday readings (USCCB translation), discussion questions, thoughtful meditations, weekly examen pages, and reflection space, To Hear His Voice helps children internalize the message of the Gospel, see its relevance in their own lives, and fall in love with the Eucharistic and their Catholic faith.

While it may seem our battle of saint-raising is an increasingly uphill fight, we can rest in the knowledge victory is secured. Our job is to follow in Joan of Arc’s footsteps for our children.

Let us pray for one another as we lift the banner high, that our children may see it through the flames.

Ginny Kochis is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mom of three differently-wired children. She believes grace grows in the soil of raising the quirky and exceptional and believes God equips those women He has called to that vocation. Connect with Ginny at Not So Formulaic.