I have been reading with interest some of the results of the recent “Religious Landscape Survey” conducted by the Pew Forum. Some of the reported statistics concerning Catholicism are especially disturbing. For example, approximately 1 in 10 Americans is a fallen-away Catholic; approximately one third of children who are raised Catholic eventually leave the Church. In selecting a church, Americans are more interested in programs that fit their individual lifestyles than in beliefs and doctrines. In other words, what is actually true appears to be of little interest. This is truly a consumerist (think Frank Sinatra and Burger King) approach to religion.
I have taught Confirmation classes three times at my parish over the last several years and have found that the children do not appear to be living the faith in their homes. It is not surprising that these young people would then not want to be bothered with something that their families deem irrelevant.
I would love to hear if anyone has any practical suggestions for reversing this trend.