Scots Bishop: young must save Church

Does anyone seriously think that contemporary youth is equipped to “save the Church”?  Aren’t they kinda tied up saving the planet?  And doing Facebook and stuff? 

Some extracts from this Scottish Catholic Observer report follow [with editorial comment]

Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.

The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said.
[Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]

Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]

Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]

Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]

Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead.  A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer

Comment

Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…

Restoring The Faith – A Model Parish…

From the Parish Website, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Glasgow, Scotland…

To celebrate the Eve of All Saints’ Day, some of our young parishioners and friends of the parish dressed up for our All Saints Party. We started the evening by processing into the church and chanting the Litany of Saints in Latin. After some food, the Saints played Seven Deadly Sins bowling, slayed a pinata-dragon, completed a saints trivia quiz, played St Cecilia’s Musical Chairs, and “Simon Peter Says”.

Winner: St Bernadette - front right...

Winner: St Bernadette – front right…

 

The Saints were all brilliantly dressed, but the grown-ups decided to award St Bernadette with the “Best Costume” prize. Thank you to all the Saints for coming in your great costumes, and thank you to the parishioners who helped with food and games for the children.  Visit Parish Website for most photos here

Comment:

The Angels & Saints Party has been a fixture in the Parish of the Immaculate Heart, Balornock, Glasgow for around 11 years, I believe. I’ve not heard of this idea being implemented anywhere else in Scotland. In the USA, yes.  Not Scotland, or, indeed, anywhere else in the UK, as far as I know.

It is a simple, but effective way of doing a number of things at once: killing several birds with one stone, as the saying goes. The children are encouraged to research the saints in order to choose  a saint to represent. They are, thus, learning about the saints; at least they are learning some key facts about the saints whom they research.  That’s important in itself. Then they have the fun of using their imaginations in order to create their own costumes. AND they are mixing with other young Catholics in an atmosphere conducive to developing their Faith and hopefully making new friends or consolidating friendships with other young Catholics.  What’s not to like?

Perhaps you could suggest this idea to your Parish Priest in good time to organise an Angels & Saints party in your parish next year? OR, if he is unwilling, or if you don’t have a large enough group of children, you could put a note in your diary to support the Immaculate Heart party next year. It’s well worth supporting; the children love it and the adults seemed to have a good time, as well.

Additionally, this thread may help to spark a few fresh ideas about how to restore some aspect of the Faith in your neck of the woods, especially, perhaps, enable new approaches to developing the knowledge and understanding of the young – an (insert soundbite adjective) Catechism Class…. that sort of thing.  Over to you!

NET Groups: Destined To Fail?

Casting the NET YOUTH GROUP  

— AMANDA CONNELLY explains how NET MINISTRIES hopes that its recently set-up branch in Scotland has big plans in the months and years ahead

Since the introduction of the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award in 2011-12, Scotland’s young Catholics have been afforded greater opportunity to bear testament to their Faith, and to be recognised for these efforts. An award that has been instrumental in promoting faith witness, it is apt that featured at this year’s Caritas Awards ceremony was NET Ministries—a worldwide organisation committed to encouraging young Catholics to embrace their faith and share the Gospel with and through young people. This year, NET Ministries embarks on its first year with its own Scottish division, NET Scotland.

Founded by Mark Berchem in 1981 in the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis, NET (National Evangelisation Teams) has seen more than 29,000 retreats sharing the Gospel message to over 1.7 million young Catholics around the world. Starting its humble, yet enthusiastic, beginnings with a team of 12 young people, they travelled across southern Minnesota in a van, carrying out a substantial 18 high school retreats over a three-week period. With the evangelisation retreats proving to be resounding success, three additional teams were instituted in Winona, North Dakota and South Dakota, and NET’s primary year-long missionary team was sent out on the road.

Deriving inspiration for both its name and work from St Mark and St Luke’s Gospels—“Come after me, I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17) and “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4)—NET Ministries has answered the call for growing demand and expanded to become the global movement it is today. Continuing its peer-lead mission to spread the Word of God with other young people across the world, it invites young Catholics to learn about their relationship with God and helps them to form their faith. It is truly international, with NET teams serving as far afield as Australia, Canada, Germany, Guam, Honduras, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Uganda and the United States.

The year 2015 marks the inaugural year of NET Scotland, having previously piloted two years of teams from NET Ireland. Whilst maintaining close ties with its Irish counterparts in training and team selection, the group is branching out as a charity in its own right, booking retreats and organising the teams’ ministry from its base in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire.

As Scotland becomes the latest addition to NET’s global community, Emily McNulty, full-time staff member at NET Scotland, speaks about the aims and work of the charity.

“We want to reignite the Catholic Faith in Scotland,” she said. “Our hope and our dream is that every person in Scotland would know the love of Jesus and know it personally.”  Click here to read more

Comment

Knowing that the young people of Scotland have not been taught the authentic Catholic religion and are, therefore, in no position to “reignite the Catholic Faith in Scotland”, the question here is, will these “NET” groups do more harm than good, or will their “have a relationship with Jesus” approach perhaps encourage some young people to look more deeply into the truths of the Faith?  Typical of these evangelism groups, their approach is very Protestant – separating Christ from His Church – and this latest “net ministry” has the very same Protestant feel about it.  Not that the youngsters will realise that – they haven’t been taught the Faith themselves, so how can they possibly know that they are well and truly NOT going to  “reignite the Catholic Faith” but the Modernist counterfeit version of it.

In summary, it seems to me like the blind are being sent out to lead the blind but what do you think?

Church Youth Groups Destroy Faith…

A study commissioned by a protestant organization has found that Christian youth groups, with an infantile approach to the faith and aImage focus heavily on being “hip” to this fallen culture, are a predominate factor in driving many young people from Christianity.  Mind, this study looked at Christians in general and not Catholics, but the Church has mimicked disastrous protestant programs in recent decades and has reaped the same whirlwind of devastation:

A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation. Some time ago, Christian pollster George Barna documented that 61 percent of today’s 20-somethings who had been churched at one point during their teen years are now spiritually disengaged. They do not attend church, read their Bible or pray.

According to a new five-week, three-question national survey sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), the youth group itself is the problem. Fifty-five percent of American Christians are concerned with modern youth ministry because it’s too shallow and too entertainment-focused, resulting in an inability to train mature believers. But even if church youth groups had the gravitas of Dallas Theological Seminary, 36 percent of today’s believers are convinced youth groups themselves are not even biblical……

……..“Today’s church has created peer dependency,” McManus says. “The inherent result of youth groups is that teenagers in the church are focused on their peers, not their parents or their pastors. It’s a foreign sociology that leads to immaturity, a greater likelihood of sexual activity, drug experimentation and a rejection of the authority of the Word of God.

I was going to go on about the Prussian school model and the isolation from the family it tends to engender in children (indeed, it was designed to do just that), and how it is unsurprising that when Christians – including the original Christians, Catholics – perpetuate this model by dividing up families and having special Masses for this group, special programs for that……it tends to be self-defeating.

The family is the Church in microcosm. As goes the family, so will go the Church, and vice versa.  Anything that tends to negatively affect the family – such as educating children away from parental influence, with huge emphasis given to how their peers perceive them – will negatively effect the Church.  Lifeteen Masses, CCD, teen youth groups with often highly questionable programs – all these things at least tangentially weaken family unity.  They also help further inculcate children in the culture of peer dependence noted above, and when many young adults today are not just unfaithful regarding their religious duties, but are out and out atheist-communist enemies of the Faith, it is not surprising that so many of these young souls fall away.

So many of these programs are adopted almost unthinkingly, in a spirit of imitation that demonstrates both a lack of understanding of the Faith and of human nature.  Catholic parishes have “vacation bible schools” because protestant sects have them. They even use the same, protestant-generated teaching materials!  That’s just one small example, I could continue on and on through the entire panoply of mimicry. It shows how deranged from the right understanding and practice of the Faith so many in positions of authority in the Church have become.

Anyway, go to Mass as a family.  Don’t go to goofy, gimmicky “special” Masses.  Home school.  Pray together daily. Carefully monitor your kid’s activities, especially on the computer. You can’t guarantee you’re children will remain faithful throughout their lives, but if you do the above, demonstrate virtue, and avoid obvious vice you will immeasurably increase the likelihood that your kids won’t fall away from the Faith.  Source

Comment

I could not be less surprised at the above findings. If anything insults the intelligence (and potential) of young people it’s keeping them rooted in their limited experience and catering for their imaginary need for perpetual entertainment.  Or maybe you disagree?