As the first wave of lay parish staff members begins to retire, a fresh crop of young people are bringing new energy and new ideas to parishes across the country.
Not every teenager knows what they want to do for a living, and fewer still dream of a career in church ministry. But after getting involved in her parish’s youth ministry program during her teenage years, Emily Anderson knew that this was what she wanted to do with her life.
Everyone can use a good cry now and then, especially children in church. Let’s make sure they have a place to let it out.
Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.
On a scale of one to 10, my kid goes to 11. At age 4, he’s high energy, high intelligence, and often highly challenging. I love everything about my little wild man until Sunday morning comes and we’re at Mass and everyone’s staring at me like I brought an ape into the room.
Millions of young Catholics are engaged and energized by World Youth Day. So why can’t they get excited about their own local church?
I traveled 5,375 miles to clap. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Clapping is more than just a routine motion—it needs purpose. We clap when we’re excited or proud. We clap to show appreciation or to join a communal rhythm. Purpose is what I found myself needing as I boarded a plane to Brazil for World Youth Day last summer. I needed the Catholic Church to give me reasons to clap.
Jessie Bazan is a graduate student at St. John’s University School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota.