What Young Catholics Truly Want

Attention Pastors, Youth Pastors, Music Directors, Deacons and Catechists:

I have oft heard the complaint from you that “The young people aren’t interested in Catholic faith, they don’t come to Mass and they don’t volunteer to sing, lector or help with ministries…it seems there is little hope these days!”
I’ve come to tell you, there is hope! The young people can be drawn to Catholic faith, Mass, choir and any church-related ministry. You can get them interested!
The Problem:

Frequently, young Catholics feel ignored, not that they aren’t being pampered or praised or given special attention, I mean they are trying to tell you exactly what they like, what they expect from the Church, what they are yearning for deep in their souls… but you simply aren’t listening.
I am in my twenties, part of the tail end of what they call “the John Paul II generation” I came into the Catholic Church just as John Paul II went out. My RCIA class was on fire for faith, for learning and for yearning. We did homework, read our catechism, got on the internet, immersed ourselves in it all! The parish that nurtured this crop of oncoming-converts was steeped in reverence and awe for tradition. Not just going through motions and singing empty songs. On Ash-Wednesday, we proudly explained the odd mark on our heads, we debated Protestants on the Bible, we learned basic prayers- in Latin AND English. Sunday night Mass ensued in candlelit splendor, amidst clouds of incense and to the tune of Laudate Dominum. You could never look at these young people and say “They just don’t care”.
After RCIA and graduation, I returned home and attended what you’d call your average parish church. I descended from a world of splendor to bare walls, hurried Masses and barebones hymns. Still fervent in the sacraments, the Eucharist and the Early Church Fathers, I lived on. Come 2012, I attend a parish in central Florida. Art covered the walls, thank God, but it was rather bare art. Mass was still hurried and hymns still barebones. Something however was very familiar: no Latin during Ordinary time, nor during Advent, nor during Lent, no incense, no Laudate Dominum.
I spoke up once during choir practice (I’d since then joined the choir because I enjoyed singing and praising the Lord). I said “You know, I’d really like some Latin hymns…Maybe we can have some silence after Mass during Lent- you know for reverence…” I suggested to our priest once: “I think a Eucharistic procession around Christmas to celebrate the incarnation would be cool…” Deaf ears in reply. I was told by the music director: “We don’t do that anymore…Silence bores the congregation…” and by the priest “A procession would be inconvenient…”
What I gave was the opinion of a young Catholic- a real, live young Catholic. They didn’t want it.
The problem is all these pastors, youth pastors and music directors keep telling us young folk what bores us, what we really like, what we find interesting. And guess what, THEY’RE WRONG! If one listens to the young Catholic voice, one would find we are yearning for beauty, for tradition and for truth. Traditional Catholicism honestly fascinates us! We go all week hearing perky pop-songs, jumping techno and chatter that doesn’t leave a minute of silence. We go to church and we get exposed to the same exact things. Thus, of course we find it boring! Why should we go to Mass when we can stay home and sing “Gather us in”, listen to a preacher on tv and fill our rooms with noise? Young people are sick of the world. We long for a safe habitat where we can bow before God and think. We crave contact with ancientness, with a strong grounding, with strong Catholic identity. God’s people are chosen out of the world, set apart, destined for a heavenly home. We want a taste of that!!
What young Catholics want:

First, we wouldn’t mind if you listened… Stop telling us what we think and what we like.  Look at traditional Catholic parishes, they are overflowing with young people and traditional seminaries are crowded with young aspirants. The next generation wants precisely what your generation has put away and tried to hide from us. There’s a proverb: “The son longs to remember what the father longs to forget!” Remember it! We hate guitar Masses. We hate bare hymns and Masses that must be kept under 45 minutes. We want the red meat that is the 2,000 year old Catholic faith and not only that, we want to sink out teeth into it!
When young people see that Mass is not like the rest of the week, that it’s not like the world, that it requires us to think and act differently- as if we’re present when heaven touches earth, we will be interested. We will wander in with curiosity, saying “what glorious thing is this?” and we will stay there.
And this is not a dilemma that has gone unnoticed either.  An article on Catholicculture.org states: “The Roman rite was always different from all of the eastern rites, of course, but the sense of the transcendence of God, which once marked our liturgy strongly, seems rarely to find expression in our worship today. And we trashed, just trashed, a glorious tradition of liturgical music which the council fathers at Vatican II explicitly commanded be fostered. We replaced it with . . . On Eagles’ Wings.” I can tell you that many of our young people agree with this! Our generation is immensely attracted to the statements of Pope Benedict XVI that ask for a return to tradition in liturgy.  I hear countless, young Catholic college students, facebook-ers and bloggers begging: “Please, give this back to us.”
People can pretend that worship is a strictly spiritual matter, pretend that it does not involve shallow, physical things but the Mass is precisely opposite. It is very physical just like the union of two lovers is very physical. No sane person declares love is just a spiritual thing, that saying “My dear” doesn’t matter, that singing a serenade or reciting a sonnet doesn’t matter or that a candlelit banquet makes no difference. Our worship became VERY physical the moment Christ assumed human flesh. Catholics are people of the incarnation. We don’t go to Mass to philosophize and have Bible study- no, we go to Mass to taste and see the goodness of the Lord! Mass isn’t about social gathering- no, it’s about each soul receiving perfect union with God! Shouldn’t our pastors and music directors be showing us that? Shouldn’t our priests be saying with their actions and words and prayers: “Hey, this isn’t part of the world that bombards you with noise and ugliness, that constantly seeks to entertain you, this is heaven!”
Jesus Christ came to give the hungry world that which they were so long deprived of. He came to give meaning, to give mystery, to give us the awesome presence and tender love which is God. Jesus didn’t say “Let’s get the young people interested.” He said “Feed my Lambs.” So, I sincerely ask our pastors, youth pastors, deacons and music directors to give young Catholics a taste of heaven, give us mystery, give us that presence and awesome love of God. Hit us with a meaty Catholicism that makes us stop and think, that makes us truly perceive the miraculous thing that is happening at every Eucharist, and causes us to bow down and say “Truly this is the Son of God” “Truly this is the New Covenant” “Truly this is the Promised Land- our heavenly home”!
If you just listen, maybe you will hear…
Young people are crying out- answer them.
They are hungry- feed them.
They are burdened down- lift them up.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”
-Psalm 34:8

Plinko with the Happy Saints!

This converted to Catholic classic game has been renamed!
Please check out Plunk! with the Saints!
for 10 ways to use this printable and the tutorial for how to make the game!

Does anyone remember Plinko? It was on The Price is Right…which began in 1956, was revamped in 1972, hosted by Bob Barker and since 2007, is now hosted by Drew Carey. Plinko was a cool game where these little disks are dropped at the top of a steep platform with little pegs.  Depending on which path the disk zigzags down, money was won by which exit route the disk took. It looked like this:

Look at that pink carpet!
How about playing PLUNK! to learn about the SAINTS?

I’ve had my eye on the little Happy Saints for a while and now that I finished my Happy Saints Tokens Tutorial, (adding these awesome Saint images to poker chips) I present…Plinko with the Saints!

I ended up making the PLUNK! with the SAINTS game with an empty picture frame and double suction cups from the dollar store.      
    
 
I also put a few little graphics together for my PLUNK! PRINTABLE that you will also find in my PLUNK! tutoriall at Equipping Catholic Families. This printable does not include the awesome Happy Saints, but it does have a cool Saint Token Template that I think you will find helpful for other Saint crafts and activities as well! 




Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centred crafts!

The NEW Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz is live!

Happy New Year!!

The NEW Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz 2013

is LIVE!
 
Check out our most POPULAR Catholic Blog Posts linked up for December…
in our Big Clicks Awards: December!

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Blessings for 2013!







Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centred crafts!

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Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network
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The new Monthly Round-Up for JANUARY will be up and running on January 1st! Make sure that you add your posts and visit often!!
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In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
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Prepare Ye the Way: An Advent Reflection

 
Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
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Learning and Growing the Piwi Way for the post
Our Faith and Fun Filled 2012 Advent Plan

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are

JOY for the post
The Communion of Saints

From the Back of the Church for the post
The December Misunderstandings
 

Catholic Family Journal,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are

Joy for the post
Remembering Life in the Womb

and The Breadbox Letters for the post
There’s Angels there!

Catholic Review,

the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers is

Prints of Grace for the post
Style, Sex & Substance

Random, the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are

The Cloistered Heart for the post
The Advent Window
and
Joy for the post
Transformed

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Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!

Keeping Christ in Christmas: List of Links!

The Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival is hosted by Truly Rich MomRaising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families, and the Catholic Bloggers Network. We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

Here are the links to the other blog carnival participants. I hope you’ll take the time to visit them and leave a comment on their posts! 🙂

Leave a comment here…recommending your favorite posts…or tell us how many you have visited so far!



Borrow the Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival Button…and recommend this directory to your friends and followers!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on these posts as you visit them…we love the encouragement!

Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity Story
Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique’s Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying…
Lique’s Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
Cymplified: Christ -Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Celebrating the Golden Days
Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings
Green Eggs and Moms: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Green Eggs & Moms Style!

Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival 2012

Are you feeling stressed over the “busy-ness” and “to-do lists” of our modern-day, mainstream Christmas? Do you feel like there’s a need to reconnect to the true Reason for the season? Do you want to share about how you and your family are preparing for the birthday of Someone very special? Then join us, Tina of Truly Rich Mom, Erika of Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, and Monica of Equipping Catholic Families …in the “Keeping Christ in Christmas” Carnival for 2012! 

This is a blog carnival that aims to share that — beyond the decor, the parties and the gifts — Christmas is a time for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus. A blog carnival is where we each write a blog post on the same theme. Everyone will get links to other bloggers’ posts to multiply your reach, and to help spread the message of keeping Christ in Christmas!

The carnival is open to all bloggers who agree with the carnival’s goal, particularly Catholics and Christians of all denominations. You may write about anything that pertains to the blog theme, e.g. share tips on how you and your family keep Christ in Christmas; stories to encourage others to do so; books and activities (even recipes!) that help keep Christ in Christmas, etc. 

To participate, please follow these steps:

1. Register by filling up the form at the end of this post or clicking here. (ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 13)
2. Write your blog post on the theme, “Keeping Christ in Christmas.” (ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 18, i.e. the post should be LIVE by December 18)

3. At the beginning of your blog carnival post, write the following as your introduction. 

“I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Arma Dei:Equipping Catholic FamiliesRaising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and the Catholic Bloggers Network. We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

The deadline for registration for the carnival is on December 13, 2012 (Thurs). Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on December 14 (Fri) and the carnival will go live on December 18, 2012 (Tues). PLEASE POST YOUR CARNIVAL ENTRIES ON December 18, 2012, beginning 12MN (IMPORTANT: Please note that all dates/times are based on PHT or Philippine Time, i.e. UTC/GMT +8 hours).

PLEASE NOTE:

Kindly write about the theme provided. We do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your entry from the list of carnival participants should your post be offensive, irrelevant to the carnival theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles, articles that are anti-Christ or are articles aimed to market products or services.
Kindly note the deadlines and post your entries (i.e. make sure they are live online) on December 18. Please do not forget the deadline for registration, which is December 13.
Thank you very much! We’re excited to read your entries and help spread the word on how to keep Christ in Christmas!
 

Monthly Round-Up for DECEMBER!


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Readings and Reflections

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Big Clicks Awards for Catholic Bloggers for NOVEMBER!

These are the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers for the month of  NOVEMBER!
Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network and help promote Catholic Bloggers!
The new Monthly Round-Up for DECEMBER will be up and running on December 1st!
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isn’t that a cool button?
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Readings and Reflections,
 the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are:

The Cloistered Heart for the post
Godly Sense
and Joy for the post
Unless You Become Like Little Children
 

Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:

A Bit of Me for the post
Saint Pedro

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

The Breadbox Letters for the post

Catholic Family Journal,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

Truly Rich Mom for the post
The Truth about my Pregnancy

Catholic Review,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers is

Equipping Catholic Families for the post
New Advent and Lent Quest

Random, the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers is

The Cloistered Heart for the post
O Tiny One

Don’t forget to link up to our Monthly Round-Up for the DECEMBER and keep clicking to discover other great Catholic posts and awesome Catholic blogs!

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Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts! 

October Big Clicks Awards!

These are the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers for the month of  OCTOBER!
Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network and help promote Catholic Bloggers!
The new Monthly Round-Up for NOVEMBER will be up and running on November 1st!
Make sure that you add your posts and visit often!!
You can also always revisit our Archives!

isn’t that a cool button?
Feel free to post it as a badge on your blog
…especially if you are one of our first Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers below
and have been awarded this prestigious award!

Announcing the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers!!
In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
 the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are:

The Cloistered Heart for the post
 Simply Lectio
AND
Mad-Eyed Monk
(Please remember to use a link to a specific blog post…this one goes to the general blog address. Thanks!)
 

Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:

Equipping Catholic Families for the post
Dream Team of October Saints

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

The Cloistered Heart for the post

Catholic Family Journal,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is

For Better or Worse for the post
We Are Not Worthy
(Please remember to use a link to a specific blog post…this one goes to the general blog address. Thanks!)

Catholic Review,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers is

Raising and Teaching Little Saints for the post
ABC Catholic DVD and CD

Random, the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers is

The Cloistered Heart for the post
My Vespers

Don’t forget to link up to our Monthly Round-Up for the NOVEMBER and keep clicking to discover other great Catholic posts and awesome Catholic blogs!

Tell your subscribers about the Catholic Bloggers Network and help us increase traffic and promote all these awesome blogs!  We have 363 awesome Catholic blogs linked up so far!

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Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!