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May 23, 1997     The Message
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May 23, 1997

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana New study finds Catholic youth interested in church By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service CARA conducted the study earlier this year for the U.S. bishops' Committee on Voca- tions, with support from the Serra International Foundation. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Ogdensburg, N.Y., vocations committee chairman, said the research indicates that, even by a conservative estimate, "each year over 3,000 youth who are active in parish programs would pursue church vocations." CARA surveyed 749 Catholic youths involved in 80 parish youth ministry programs around the country. It also surveyed 423 parents of those young people. It said the group studied was not representative of all Catholic youth, but it did represent "pre- cisely those most likely to hear and respond to vocations efforts in typical parishes." Among its key findings were: "Youth attracted to voca- tions find the sense of mission most appealing." --"Parental encouragement of vocati.ons leads to dramati- cally higher positive attitudes toward religious careers." -- "Youth think about churc.h vocations in large numbers. WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Catholic youth are interested in church vocations but all too often don't get encouraged to pursue one, says a study released May 22. "Interest in serving the church has not declined among youth," said Bryan T. Froehle, research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Aposto- late in Washington and author of the study. "The biggest issue (emerging from the studyJ is for parents and pastors and religious to encourage vocations," he said. Among the youths who report- ed parental encouragement to consider a vocation, 12 percent said they were seriously consid- ering such a vocation, while only 4 percent of those who were not encouraged by their parents said they were seriously considering a vocation. Three percent of those encour- aged by parents said they expected to pursue a church vncmtion, while only 1 percent of those without such encour- agement expected to do so. However, although they talk about careers with their parents, they rarely discuss church voca- tions even if they are seriously considering one." -- "Attending Catholic schools has a singularly dramatic effect on the likelihood of youth to seri- ously consider a vocation." -- "Two minority groups poor- ly represented among today's seminarians and religious for- mation programs, Hispanics and African-Americans, are disproportionately more likely to say they have seriously considered vocations. The study found that "those relatively uninter- ested in vocations are the most likely to think that celibacy presents the biggest obstacle." It said that those less interested in church vocations also were more likely to cite restrictions on freedom, desire for personal or material success and fear of making a lifetime commitment as reasons for their hesitancy. On the other hand, it said, those who have seriously con- sidered a church vocation tend not to regard those concerns as obstacles. Members of that group "are more likely to say that hav- ing a sense of mission and mak- ing a personal sacrifice for God and others are appealing aspects of a church vocation." The opposite reactions of the two groups to the challenges of a vocation led CARA to conclude J that any attempt to water down vocational demands in order to get wider appeal could backfire. Such an approach "could well have the unanticipated conse- quence of actually reducing the appeal of vocations to those most interested," the report said. CARA also found, as numer- ous other studies have, that young people who have seriously considered a vocation tend to be those who are actively involved ('('l00=enSttin serving the declined a ... The biggest issue the study) is for parents and and religious to encourage Americans and not reflected in tions of s are U.S. citizens vocations take a more approach." ' ' " Bishop vey challenges tors to discuss with young people. age them to vocation ............ in liturgical roles and devotions and those who place high value on daily Mass, their faith lives and involvement in parish life. On ethnic differences, CARA reported: "Youth who seriously consider vocations are much morelikely to be Hispanic/Lati- no or African-American than European-American in back- ground. Some 21 percent of all Hispanics say they have seri- ously considered a vocation, and 18 percent of African:Americans say they have done so, but only 11 percent of European-Ameri- cans and 10 percent of Asian- Americans report doing so." It added, "The fact that the higher percentages for African- "Only surveyed have encouraged by brother to vocation," he pastors need to rewarding in ies show happy however, they know He said the findings that can: specific voeation!i parish and He ple, bythe half the they would Linton's First Communicants First Communion was held April 27 at St. Peter Church, Lin- ton. First Communicants include, front row, Samantha Church, John Daluga, Caleb Dunkerly, Whitley Fusco, sec- ond row, Jake Feltner, Cody LaFever, August Ubelhor, third row, Deborah Wright, DRE, Father Hilary Vieck, pastor, and Linda Bray, catechist. Reform caused 'extremely serious damage' The drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969 provoked "extremely serious damage" to the church, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. While many of the liturgical changes were needed, the sup- pression of the old Mass marked a "break in the history of the liturgy, the consequences of which could only be tragic," the head of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation said in an autobio- graphical book. released in Italy in mid-April. "I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find our- selves today depends in great part on the collapse of the litur- gy," the German cardinal said. The book's German title is, "From My Life: Remembrances 1927-1977," f Shetler atovlna a Stora Evansville, Indiana ..... "i:i:6 .... " I i i :, , v , f i: , ( ,, , i St. Anthony's First Communicants First Communion was held May 7 at St. Anthony Church, include, front row, Jared Huff, Justin Knies, Mitch Atkins, Kristine. Chelsea Merkley, second row, Leslie Gehlhausen, Kris Leisman, Brt Wendholt, Kendra Knies, Bryan Thacker, Megan Lampert, third roW, Jones, Zach Hochgesang, Abbey Fleck, Lucas Kerstiens, Clint Kyla Wagner, fourth row, Shawn Betz, Wilma Wendholt, Father .................. Lindsay Fleck and Michael Hurst. Catholic " " Summer Session '  = Images of God and prayer : Facilitator: , , Sister Marsha Speth, SP ',: May 7, 9 am to noon Lunch provided RSVP m All Invited St. Anthony Church --- qO4-Firs t .Ave:zEvansvilerlN-47'J'lO