Catholic Youth Ministry's No. 1 Myth

Catholic Youth Ministry's No. 1 Myth: Because Teens hate their parents, Catholic Youth Ministry must offer an environment free from the presence of parents.

In reality, study after study has conclusively shown that parents, hands down, have a far greater impact on the spiritual life and faith practice of their own children than any youth minister could ever hope to have. This is the case even for teens who get involved in Youth Ministry efforts, mission, trips, and short-term service experiences. In the long run, teens will mimic their parents' faith practice.

This is why stuff like this initiative from the CBEW is just straight up nonsense. We don't need to ask kids what they think, we need to teach them the faith - something that has been neglected for over forty years in this country.

Catholic Youth Ministry needs to wake up and smell the coffee. It is complicit in a series of fundamental myths about teens, and because of this the teen retention rate is a complete disaster for the Church.

Current thinking is that participation equals success. The Catholic Church is great at getting loads of young people to come to events. The Catholic Church does indeed have very high levels of teen participation in programmes and events. But here's a wake up call: participation DOES NOT mean a lifelong commitment to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

It also seems that the Catholic Church considers participation equals retention. If teens are involved in Youth Ministry, they will be well versed in Catholic belief...sort of through osmosis or something. The US National Study on Youth & Religion was a huge wake up call on this theory however. It revealed dismal statistics for the number of young people who could articulate what Catholics believe, even in the most basic tenets of our faith. Unfortunately, Catholic teens scored dead last in every area of the study.

Catholic Youth Ministry is failing and has failed terribly. But to change that will take courage. The courage to recognise what is not working and to ask what really works. That's really hard when you have put so much love and energy into something like working with young people.

But somehow I don't think the current hierarchy are listening or courageous enough to actually do anything that might be successful.

Fortunately, I'm not alone, and there are a few brave souls out there who are willing to fight for the future of our Church and the faith of our young people:


  1. I think the bishops could learn a thing or two if they were asking what kind of liturgy and teaching engaged young people, as opposed to what young people believe (nothing, because they have not been taught anything), or desire (trash, since that is all they have been offered).

    Even here however they'll only ever get the thoughts of a clericalised elite of right-thinking young people.

    1. I completely agree Joseph, I foresee that, if they did canvas appropriately, they would simply ignore any results that do not fit with their world view.

  2. Excellent and truthful insight into youth ministry!

  3. The thing is that the Youth Synod will be the next attack on the family. After all, the Catholic youth who engage with Catholic Youth Work are our next generation of Catholic families (and these are the kids who are more serious about their faith).

    When the Youth Synod comes along all the commentators will shout from the rooftops "They are failing with the teaching", but this is rubbish, and does not even get close to the actual cause of the problem. If you don't understand the cause of the problem, then you can't do anything about the problem.

    The problem is that the 99% of Catholic Youth workers have been exposed to Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I am not here to attack CCR, but point out how their leaders have not stuck to the Catholic script and they have hoodwinked people. EWTN banned the Catholic Youth arm of One Hope Project and Celebrate for not being Catholic enough. Another leading CCR figure has pointed out that false Ecumenism is ruining CCR.

    And, then you have to look at the cause of the CCR led CYW... Cardinal Suenens.... kicked it all off (along with Communion in the hand)....

    If youi want to know about the CCR then click this...

    These are the where the problems originally came from, so you now know the providence.

    Now, onto my personal opinion... I am going to give some balance and say that not all CCR is bad... Sr. Briege McKenna forinstance is a good person doing her very best, and has helped many people.....

    So where is the smoking gun? I will give you two words at the end of this diatribe. I know for a fact that the main people who are now dealing with CYW where influenced by one thing (check out gold teeth and gold dust at Toronto Airport).

    The two words are...

    Toronto Blessing... Go and check it out!

  4. And don't just Google 'Toronto Blessing'... Google.. 'Toronto Blessing deception''

    1. I feel like that is almost a whole other discussion. I find it deeply disturbing that the Lord would allow the manipulation of people so sincerely seeking him as these people who travel to the Toronto Christian Community Church? How do we understand that?

    2. Well, to be honest the TB thing is largely irrelevant (and a fair point you make). The other factors are valid though, and worth considering if you think there is a problem with CYW. It is CCR who are effectively running 80% of Catholic Youth Work in the UK. There must be a link here to your post, as they are delivering the packages...


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