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By David G Bonagura, Jr., The Catholic Thing, Aug. 18, 2022
David G. Bonagura Jr. teaches at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York. He is the author of Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism and Staying with the Catholic Church: Trusting God’s Plan of Salvation.
We all know the grim statistics: a mere quarter of Catholics attend Mass each Sunday. Half of those do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The three-quarters who do not go are essentially unchurched; their understanding of the faith is shaped mostly by childish caricatures and distortions from media and pop culture.
Taking these facts alone, the odds of our children and grandchildren navigating this gauntlet and remaining practicing Catholics are not good, to put it mildly. Kids, as we know, are disproportionately influenced by what their peers do – and do not do. Couple this reality with the fact that nearly all their activities – from their hours on screens to classroom instruction, sports, and extracurriculars – occur with no reference to God. It’s not hard to wonder why kids don’t think religion is “cool” – none of their friends or the people they see in media seem to even think about it. …