Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Ministry of Me

There comes a point in a person's spiritual life when she doesn't want to provide ministry, but instead needs to receive it. I've been at that point for quite some time now, yet haven't gotten what I need from my varying churches over the past year.

I thought the MYAC (Ministry of Young Adult Catholics) group at church would do it. To my chapter's credit, they really do host a variety of spiritual and social activities. But turns out, I'm the youngest of the young adults, sometimes by 20 years. (Since when is 40 a young adult?) Plus, scheduling is such that I can't make it to most of the activities. Just the same, I have somehow ended up on their core team, and will be providing for the service ministry. Go fig.

Has the Roman Catholic church neglected its young people? I fear the worst. I have never blamed my peers--many friends among them--who no longer attend Mass, or bother with any other R.C. tenets. The void is painfully apparent. Even worse, they often seem to abandon any faith.

I could say this is entirely a product of the young adult age, but in my heart I don't believe it is. The Church claims to welcome and foster us, yet stands by as we fall through the cracks. Sure, there seem to be a lot of sites. But these orgs are often populated with the most conservative and dogmatic among us. Open discussion isn't always appreciated. Or it's the same 10 people attending YAM activities over and over and over again. It's theological and bureaucratic hypocrisy at its worst.

If the Church has any hope for an active and deeply-felt following in my generation, it better start tending to that constituency's spiritual health, or face a slow bleed from the pews.

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