New research shines light on Catholic youth

Malcolm Hart (ACBC)

Researchers from Australia and the United States will present their findings on how young people perceive and engage with the Church during one of a series of significant events that will be held during the Year of Youth. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Youth, in partnership with the Brisbane Archdiocese and the Australian Catholic University, will host the two-day youth and youth ministry research seminar in Brisbane next month.

Malcolm Hart, director of the Office for Youth, said the seminar will allow those working at the coal face in youth ministry to better understand how their work is impacting young people and how they can better support the faith journeys of young people.

“This will be a great opportunity for groups of people who don’t always talk to one another – researchers and youth ministers, sociologists and priests – to recognise the wisdom that they can all bring to a conversation about the Church’s engagement with teenagers and young adults,” Mr Hart said.

The gathering will include the presentation of research that was carried out last year as part of preparations for the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, which will take place in Rome this October.

More than 15,000 Catholics aged 16 to 29 participated in the survey, making it the largest survey of its type the Church has ever undertaken in Australia.

Trudy Dantis, the director of the ACBC’s Pastoral Research Office, and her colleague Stephen Reid will present the findings of that research, as well as other statistical data that show the changing face of the Church and of parish life in Australia.

Mr Hart said the presence of American author John Vitek, who recently released a new report into the disaffiliation of young Catholics in the United States called Going Going Gone, will allow local experiences to be reflected upon in light of the American understandings.

“We know that there are many differences between Australian society and American society, and indeed Australian Catholicism and American Catholicism, but there is a depth of research into faith and the experience of faith that has been carried out in the US and can be informative for the Church in Australia,” he explained.


Local, international research to help guide youth ministry (ACBC Media Blog)


In light of faith: Reaching young people who have left the church (CNS)

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