Staying Catholic in College: A Letter to Youth Ministers

Posted by Sarah Wallace on Jun 18, 2020 7:07:00 AM

Dear high school youth ministers, 

Congratulations! Though it has had an ending unlike any other, another successful year is on the books and another amazing group of seniors has been launched from your ministry. While it’s sad to see them go, they’re off to bigger and better things, armed with a wealth of faith and wisdom gained from their youth ministry experiences.

But what is next for them in their life of faith? Will their relationship with Christ and their Catholic faith continue in college and beyond? These are hard but important questions. One Pew study reports that most people who leave the Catholic faith will do so before the age of 24. The same study also states that only 32% of those involved in Catholic youth groups remain Catholic as adults. Like high school, college is a critical time in the faith lives of young people. 

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Topics: college, youth ministry, campus ministry, faith formation

Staying Catholic in College: A Message to Parents

Posted by Sarah Wallace on Jun 4, 2020 11:32:56 AM

Summers were always refreshingly quiet at the Newman Center. Like any college campus, for a few precious months our public university was reduced to the satisfying hum of summer students and a steady stream of high schoolers coming for campus tours and orientation. I met many Catholic students and parents as they stopped by the Newman Center after their campus visit. There are a few of these students I will never forget, but there were also many whom I never saw again. In seven years of Catholic Campus Ministry at a public university, there was no shortage of parents calling us for help with a student who was struggling or who had stopped going to church. While we did what we could for them, their calls echoed the same question I saw in the eyes of my summer visitors: how can I help my child stay Catholic in college?

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Topics: college, parenting, campus ministry, domestic church

Staying Catholic in College: A Letter to High School Graduates

Posted by Sarah Wallace on May 19, 2020 12:04:42 PM

Dear graduating seniors, 

Finally, high school is over and you are FREE!!! Congratulations! Eat some cake. Now, get excited because college is just around the corner!  

If you’re anything like I was, you can’t wait to get to college. People told me my college days would be some of the best of my life. It was true! What I didn’t expect, though, was how my faith would change while I was there. For the first time in my life, my parents weren’t blasting me out of bed for church on Sunday, my youth minister wasn’t there to make sense of things, and my best friends weren’t sitting in the pews behind me. It was all up to me. 

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Topics: college, undergraduates, faith, campus ministry, community, Catholic identity

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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