Monday Message, May 15, 2023

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We have a parish leader check in tomorrow. You will be led by Carmela, who will review some changes in LEAD and tell you about a few other dates we want you to save in the fall. Deacon John and I (and some of you) will be at Joan Kelly’s funeral at St. Therese in Trumbull. Sign in information is here.

In case you missed it last week, we have uploaded an examination of conscience which is to be used moving forward with elementary and middle school students. We hope to have one for high school student soon.

All those who attended the bishop’s meeting will receive the document on The One this morning. You can get a preview here.

If you have not yet had the conversation at your parish about this form and discussed when you will have your make up meeting for those who did not make one of the nine meetings with the bishop, please encourage your team to have that conversation soon.


Somewhere along the last fifty years or so, American adulthood has been transformed. In the first half of the 20th century, most people clearly entered adulthood in their teens or early 20s by virtue of getting married, getting a job, and having children. Before Covid, we started seeing the passage to adulthood being delayed.

In what sociologist James Cote called the new “psychological adulthood,” the individual’s “needs and wants” expand and his or her “obligations and attachments” contract. The seven deadly sins have been redefined: “pride has become self esteem … lust has become sexuality … envy is now channeled into initiative and incentive … sloth has become leisure.”

In short, adolescence has expanded. The on-ramps to adulthood have been closed – or at least moved way down the highway of life.

This has an implication for our ministry.

We have to be careful not to perpetuate what has become for some a self-centered, emotionally driven, and intellectually empty faith.

This space will include some talking points in the coming weeks and we will talk more about it when we next meet in person. For now, think about this:

In his 2013 book, “Engaging a New Generation of Young People,” Frank Mercandante writes “For years, relational youth ministry was built on the mantra “earn the right to be heard.” Once we demonstrated interest in young people’s lives by being relationally present, and built a sense of trust, they would become open to the gospel message. This approach worked with Boomer and Gen X teens, as they inquired, “Will you accept me for who I am?” However, a nuance in Millennial Generation teens’ query is a complete game-changer. They ask, “Will you accept me for who I am not?” In other words, does the relationship stand on its own or does it exist for a hidden motive? Today’s teens are put off by relationships with an agenda. They hunger for relationships for relationship sake.”

That was ten years ago. Before Covid. Before the rise of loneliness and anxiety.

Many things have changed. Some things have not.