09 June 2008

"The New Faithful"

Tonight I am glad I live in Baltimore. I went to a lecture at the Baltimore (Roman Catholic) Basilica of the Assumption where many people, old and young attended including Cardinal Keeler, the former Archbishop, Archbishop O’Brien, my current Archbishop, and George Weigel, whom I respect greatly as a faithful Catholic intellectual (He presented the second lecture in the series of three). The lecture I attended was the third in a new series entitled, “The John Carroll Lectures”. The presenter was Ms. Colleen Carroll Campbell, author of “The New Faithful: Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy”.

In this post, I’ll present a couple sound bites that I found interesting. If you would like to view the entire lecture, it will most likely be posted here officially.

Many of the “new faithful” (NF) are not happy with the “God substitutes” of post-modern baby boomers. Being no strangers to scandals in the general culture and in their own lives, they know heartbreak and despair: they deeply believe in the presence of sin.

The NF ask tough questions regarding the beliefs of traditional religions in their quest for meaning. They have what is described as an “early mid-life crisis”. Coming out from this crisis and into a traditional faith, they seek not to escape from the word but to have a vision to transform it.

Many go to fashion shows with modest clothing while older parishioners call them a “bunch of old fogies”. Most of the people at John Paul the Great’s funeral were the NF.

The NF wished that youth pastors did not just entertain young adults but challenge them with the radical message of the gospel. They feel that the youth pastors strip the truth from the faith.

They try not to be privately pious but desire to change the culture (to a culture of life). A young nun wanted to be a nun because God “…demands everything of me”. They are sustained by a shared faith.

I encourage you to especially listen to the account of David who was a lawyer in the US Justice Department who graduated from Yale and became a (Roman Catholic) priest. It’s at the end of the lecture.

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