Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Kids

Since I've bragged on my brother Jesuits, I also should brag on my kids (don't worry, that's just my affectionate term for them). I have had the privilege of working with some great young people in my years of teaching and youth and young adult ministry.

Last year at this time I was writing about a particular group of students I worked with the past two years. That became the article entitled, "Both Gen-Y and Catholic," which appeared in America magazine. This year I'm missing them, as it sinks in that I won't be back at Loyola with them this Fall (I'm on to studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA). Here are a couple photos of the crew (the two old guys in the back are my friend Bill Farge, SJ, a professor of Japanese at Loyola, on the left, and that's me on the right):

And here's a quote from the conclusion of the article:

My experience this past year has taught me a few things. When it comes to these students, ultimately it is not a matter of who is on the right or the left, or even who’s right or wrong, but of who they are and, to invoke the old Baltimore Catechism, who made them. The biggest detractors of these students were those who had made no effort to get to know them. The prejudices against them are born of old fights, old animosities and anxieties that too much love for the institutional church will somehow force us through a time-warp back to the 1930’s. That may be the desire of some of the Baby Boomers, but that’s not what these young people want. Rather, they want to be connected to their Catholic tradition in an age when it sometimes seems we are meant to apologize for it. Perhaps they have a rosary tucked in their pocket next to their cellphones and P.D.A.’s, but these are 21st-century kids. They have never known a time without John Paul II, the Internet, vernacular liturgy or the pop singer Madonna, even if they are more partial to the mother of God. They are their own new breed, thoroughly modern and unapologetically Catholic—which you will find out for yourself, when you get to know them.

(Lest I provoke some needless debate, I should note that I wasn't saying all young Catholics are like this, just this particular group, and a significant number of young people like them)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us a chance and not just "us" but the individuals in between. We are proud of you and missing you too.
- Andrea

10:56 PM  

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