The scene was nothing new and nothing unexpected. We taught most of the same kids last year since they’re in a two-year program that will culminate in confirmation this spring. However, I’m willing to wager that their apathy isn’t necessarily related to a surge of teenage surliness but rather to a lack of foundational catechesis, and I say that while having taught many of these kids in fourth and fifth grade. I have used every trick in the book—from group activities to stump-the-teacher sessions to outright bribery through baked ziti and brownies—to get these kids to hear me when I talk about the Mass, about the Gospel, about our beautiful Catholic teachings and traditions. Yet every year, when they reluctantly return to class, I find I’m grateful if even half of them remember the Our Father.
When I look out at these kids—regardless of age, regardless of whether they’ve gone to Catholic or public elementary school—I assume I am seeing 75 percent as future ex-Catholics.
It’s a sad truth that too many of our children lose interest in the church when they no longer ‘have’ to attend religious ed. Is this something that we can fix or is it just the mentality of our youth? What do you think?
If you have an idea that does not appear in poll, we would love for you to leave it in the comment box!
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