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Catholic youth (letter)

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 Contents - Feb 2005AD2000 February 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Year of the Eucharist: a time to get serious - Michael Gilchrist
Appeal: Missionaries' vital role in helping tsunami victims - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
The Church in Australia 2005: can the tide be turned? - Michael Gilchrist
Timor Leste: Australia and East Timor: a Timorese Salesian Brother's impressions - Br Marcal Lopes
Education: State Aid: answering the critics' arguments - Fr Matthew Kirby
Religious Life: Faith and Reason: for a true renewal in religious life and the Church - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Events: Thomas More Centre to host US publisher dedicated to Catholic social teachings - Anthony Cappello
Marriage: Why gay marriage is a self-contradiction - Peter Reynolds
Letters: Religion inquiry (letter) - Jeff Tan
Letters: Missal translation (letter) - Norman Wilkinson
Letters: Revival of faith (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: Fiji example (letter) - Tom King
Letters: Catholic youth (letter) - Jim Brown
Letters: Society of St Pius X (letter) - Anthony Bono
Letters: Eternal destiny (letter) - G. Mahoney
Letters: School leavers (letter) - Mrs M.A. Ross
Letters: Numbers of priests (letter) - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Abortion (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Changes in Liturgy (letter) - Valentine Gallagher
Letters: The New Mass (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Ten Commandments (letter) - Arthur Negus
Letters: Message from India (letter) - Fr S. John Joseph
Letters: Books wanted (letter) - Edwin McGrath
Letters: Inspiration (letter) - Brian Harris
Books: Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way, by John Paul II - Richard Egan (reviewer)
Books: Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: A Christian Apocalypse:The Sexual Abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, 1884-2004 - David Williams (reviewer)
Books: Books to read in 2005
Reflection: Archbishop Hart: Pope John Paul II and the Year of the Eucharist - Archbishop Denis Hart

Each month as AD2000 comes in I read it with despair for it is full of lamentations for the loss of our youth from the Church. Each month someone asks: how can we get them back into the Church? There are many answers but so far no results.

As soon as school is finished, even from the best of our colleges, most young people only attend church on a few formal occasions, like baptisms, weddings and funerals.

What this all adds up to is that on the whole young Catholic people do not believe in God.

Let's have a look at children in their early years. Five-year-olds without question believe in fairies, Father Christmas and God. It is easy to talk to them about the Creator for His wonders are everywhere, from the budding and development of a rose, the turning of a grub into a beautiful butterfly, or the wild noise of a thunderstorm.

Then, as time moves on, they learn that fairies are fake, later that Father Christmas is also a fake, and then as their school years advance they learn from their peers and from the teaching of society that God is also a fake.

When St Paul went out to preach the gospel, he preached it to peoples who believed in God. His method was one of argument, showing how a belief in God the Creator was fulfilled in the life and death of Christ, i.e., Christianity made sense. Later he used the same techniques on the pagans for they too believed in gods and a supernatural order.

Today our secular society, built on the great brains that have driven the advance of knowledge, teaches in effect that God is not needed. The end result is that the Church is trying to teach Christianity to non-believers.

There are three persons in God - Father Creator, Son and Holy Spirit. The Church teaches about the Son and Holy Spirit, but seems to have difficulty with the Creator. I have been attending Mass every Sunday now for nearly 70 years but in all of that time I have never heard a homily preached about the Creator.

We need to go back to the beginning of a child's life and make sure every day of that life children are taught about God the Creator. If they believe in the Creator then Christianity falls naturally into place.

White Gums Station
Alice Springs, NT

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 1 (February 2005), p. 14

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