Catholic Orgs Share Ideas To Engage Millennials
A number of Catholic leaders have come together to share ideas about how to maintain relationships with the millennial generation.
A recent Millennial Church Conference held at the Risen Christ Parish in Denver, Co. welcomed Catholic leaders from the area who spoke about the topic of engaging millennials. Pete Burak, the director of the i.d.9:16 young adults ministry located around the nation, said a genuine love of God will make a lasting impact in the lives of young adults.
“What will move the hearts of this generation is not the latest encyclical and it’s not the bishops’ statements and all of these things,” Burak said, according to a Denver Catholic report this week.
“What’s going to move the hearts of this generation is people on fire with the love of God who are willing to die to see others come alive.”
For Christopher Lanciotti, the formation director of the young adult ministry Creatio which coordinates outdoor experiences for believers, there is value in these types of activities.
“Outdoor experiences, especially our backpacking trips and pilgrimages, give participants hours upon hours for personal conversation and the chance to build relationships where they can feel heard and understood and literally ‘walk together’ with others who want to help accompany them on their journey of faith or towards the faith,” he said.
Adam Henrichs, Executive Director of Creatio, said he believes some millennials leave the Catholic church because of its public perception.
“One of the reasons I think Millennials have left the Church is because of the weight that it carries,” Henrichs said. “They have a fear of being lumped into a specific category, especially if that category has been tagged as hypocritical, judgmental, or tolerant of sexual abuse,” said Henrichs.
Jacquie Fankell, the Director of Communications at the Nativity of Our Lord in Broomfield, Co believes the young adult generation has a desire to connect to people in an authentic way.
“Although this desire may manifest itself in superficial ways, like a preference for craft beer over light beer, at our core is the true desire of the human heart that longs for meaning and, ultimately, for God,” she said.
Unlike college ministries, people across multiple generations need to work to connect with each other.
“Many relationships in parish life are intergenerational, but these relationships are so worth taking the time to cultivate,” she said. “I would encourage people of all generations to take time to engage with, listen to, and develop relationships with others of any age or background.”