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August 23, 1996     The Message
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August 23, 1996

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i 4 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 23, 1996 -Study analyzes Catholic Youth Ministry By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Many participants in Catholic youth programs who have thought about church vocations or careers got no encouragement from parents to pursue them, said an in-depth study of Catholic youth ministry re- leased Aug. 7. Those who participate in the youth programs "strongly value helping others" but "do not place a strong emphasis on commu- nity service," the study said. It found that those in youth programs do well in many areas of religious values and practice but tend to attach little impor- tance to Bible reading. Nearly three-fourths said they attend Mass once a week or more. The study, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, is titled "New Di- rections in Youth Ministry." It was based on survey responses this spring by more than 6,000 youths participating in youth ministry programs in 37 dioce- ses across the country. Partici- pants came from more than 600 parishes, selected to represent a wide range of youth ministry programs and all types of parishes. The study was co-sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and the Subcommittee on Youth of the Committee on the Laity of the National Conference of Catholic, Bishops. It was the first national sur- vey of attitudes, values and re- ligious views and practices of those involved in Catholic youth programs. "Our young people are ex- traordinarily dedicated to the church, but we must do more to encourage and support them," said Msgr. Dennis Schnurr, NCCB general secretary. "As this report shows, youth min- istry programs help Catholic youth develop healthy religious attitudes. It shows the effec- tiveness of organized and com- prehensive youth ministry pro- grams." "This study must be taken se- riously by church leaders," said Bishop Robert J. Carlson of Sioux Falls, S.D., chairman of the NCCB Subcommittee on Youth. "It provides an outline for church leaderswho seek to do more to involve youth in church life," he said. Noting the relatively low val- ues participants placed on Bible reading and community service, the study said, "Catholic youth ministry needs to be more per- suasive in helping participants understand that reading the Bible is important for growing in their faith and that helping others through community ser- vice is as significant as helping people individually." It recommended more effec- tive vocations work with parents so that they will be more com- fortable with encouraging their children to consider religious vo- cations or lay careers in church service. Twenty-nine percent of the youths surveyed said they had considered a vocation to priest- hood or religiohs life, and 51 per- cent said they had considered working for the church in some other capacity. But only 20 per- cent said their parents had ever encouraged them to consider a religious vocation. The study said youth ministry should involve "comprehensive programs which address a range of needs and interests of young people" because single-dimen- sion programs are not as help- ful. "Comprehensive programing should include catechetical, liturgical, social, developmental and spiritual elements," it said. When participants were asked what they looked for from youth ministry, among the low- est-ranked items were sports and youth meetings. "They place a much higher value on a caring environment created within the program and on learning about God and the faith," the study said. It recommended "more oppor- tunities and training in evange- lization" for youths and "more of a commitment to reach those youth who are unchurched or not participating in parish pro- grams." The study found that the longer youths have been active in youth ministry programs, the stronger the impact was on the development of moral and reli- gious values and practices. "Young people must be encour- aged to participate over many years," it said. It said those in youth pro- grams "take their Catholic iden- tity very seriously and exhibit a deep commitment to the Catholic Church." Seventy-two percent reported attending Mass at least once a week. It said parental religious practice was also high. Seventy percent reported their mothers attended Mass at least once a week and 55 percent said their fathers did so. A 1995 study sponsored by Purdue University reported that 41 percent of all adult Catholics said they at- tended Mass at least weekly. Asked how frequently they re- ceive the sacrament of reconcil- iation, 21 percent said more than twice a year; 43 percent, about once or twice a year; 17 percent, less than yearly; and 19 percent, rarely or never. Dioceses selected for the CARA survey ranged geograph- ically from San Diego to Port- land, Maine, from Juneau, Alaska, to Palm Beach, Fla. CARA also worked with four ethnically based ministry asso- ciations to assure adequate rep- resentation of minorities in the survey.  Interestingly, minority you -- African-Americans, its, Asians and Native cans -- were all more than European-Americans  rate their youth ministry pr q grams as strong on culturgl sensitive activities. Of 15 questions on what val' ues are important to them, th surveyed attached the higheS importance to not using drugS;. helping others, attending Mas, having a strong family life, ana learning about God and tl faith. L Almost all -- 90 more w said they be Catholic and feel welcome; church, and 86 young people should have ger role in t ing. who directed the project, that by surveying more 6,000 youths the had tablished "one of the statistical bases ever" for lyzing a major segment Catholic youth in the States. Holy Cross Father Van Winkle returns for missions Holy Cross Father Charles Van Winkle will return this fall to present a series of parish mis- sions in the Diocese of Evansville. Father Van Winkle is agraduate of St. Benedict School and Memo- rial High School in Evansville. His experience includes 20 years as a high school teacher, missionary work in Bangladesh, establishment of a successful drug abuse rehabil- itation program, and presidency of the Executive Board of Religion Teachers in the Diocese of Cleve- land. For the past 17 years, he has been involved in giving spiritual renewals and missions to college and high school students, and to parishes throughout the southern United States. Father Van Winkle says his missions are well received be- cause they emphasize the practi- cal approach to daily living  the relationship of our religion to a life of freedom and happiness. Missions scheduled this fall are include the following: Holy Family, Jasper, Sept. 9 through 12. St. Peter, Montgomery, Sept. 16 through 19. St. Joseph, Dale, Sept. 23 through 26. Sacred Heart, Evansville, Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. Sacred Heart, Vincennes, Oct. 14 through 17. St. Philip, St. Philip, Oct. 21 through 24. St. Raphael, Dubois, Oct. 27 through 30. St. Mary, Sullivan, Nov. 4 through 7. St. Boniface, Evansville, Nov. 18 through 21. FATHER VAN WINKLE III I Ed. L. Lee , Mortuary 101 North Meridian Street Washington, IN FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 Golden Jubilarians Ervin J. and Jeanne E. (Reiter) Kuester of Evansville celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. Aug. 31 at St. James James. A dinner and dance for invited guests will the Activities Building. The couple was married 1946, at St. Anthony Church. They are the parents children: Suzanne Barnett of Newburgh, and per and Randall Kuester, both of Evansville. They eight grandchildren, and two great.grandchildrerl" 254-3612 Kuester is retired from Emge Packing Co. I I AUTO TOPS . SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER I Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service "Something good t;s I 0000!GSo 00K00mpf's right on your way . DONUT DELICIOUS BANK. ' DONUTS, 00xo..,on, s,z.,o ,oo, CAKES, OVERHEAD DOORS Hundreds in Stock Nobody Beatm Our Prices METAL ROOFING Over 20,000 Sq. In Stock. Any Length CUt To Inch. Best Prices Around. DAVIESS CO. METAL H/. 50 E., Cannelburg. 4 mi. E. Montgomery 812-295-4299 iii i 2128 First Ave .............. 426-2311 5 N. Green River Rd ........ 479-0511 1031 Diamond Ave ......... 426-0011 210 N. 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