I’ve been meaning to highlight Archbishop Chaput’s evidently controversial address on youth and young adult ministry (as it’s called in these parts). ‘Banshee linked to it below, so I thought I’d use this occasion to give it a post of its own. As is usually the case with +Chaput, all of the address is worth reading, but this paragraph stood out:
We only fool ourselves if we think that a mere gathering of young people is a sign of good ministry. Religious groups, like any other group, can be cliquish, self-indulgent, lazy and fruitless, heavy on talk and light on real conversion and mission. Healthy Catholic life demands excellence, self-denial, love for the Church and her teachings, a disciplined focus on the needs of others, and an ongoing hunger for knowing and doing God’s will. Our Newman Centers and campus ministries need to be, in effect, boot camps for this kind of vigorous Christianity.
Archbishop Schnurr arrived here over two years ago promising that “YYAM” would a priority. What has changed? The Newman Center for UC is still run by the New Age malcontents at St. Monica-St. George, and Wright State’s priestly chaplain is still a throwback to the 70s who speaks of “being church.” After being told an interdiction was underway at Xavier University, “Mike” Graham’s backsliding took place without so much as a peep from downtown, and Ken Overberg still kicks sand on dogma from the Bellarmine lectern. And my alma mater the University of Dayton is … still the University of Dayton. Am I missing some positive developments out there? The only one I can think of is the appointment of Sean Ater, who ran IHM’s dynamic youth ministry program, to the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Are there other examples of “vigor” that I’ve overlooked?