It’s certainly true that the Church is struggling in many places throughout the world. Look at Europe for example. From 1910 to the present the percent of the population that claimed to be Christian declined from 68% to about 25%! These data includes all Christian denominations but the implications of Catholicism in Europe is equally clear. This staggering free-fall is expected to continue.
In America, the situation is not quite as grim (yet) but the initial trends are equally upsetting. Here is a graph showing the general decline in religiosity in the United States. Of particular interest is the sharp increase in people who identify with no particular religious denomination. In the news reports these people have been referred to as “Nones”. The conclusion here is also clear: America is becoming more and more secularized, just like Europe. The above graph seems to indicate that Catholicism is holding relatively steady. The majority of the increasing ‘none’ group seems to be coming from Mainline Protestant and perhaps Evangelical Protestant denominations. However, as Catholics we must not rest consoled by such data because the overall downward pressures are unquestionable. We are not immune from this cancer of modern secular relativism.
Finally, I want to present a graph which shows the trend of increasing ‘nones’ but this time broken down by age group. These data clearly indicate that as America has progressed from the ‘greatest
generation’ (that is those born in the 20s and 30s that fought in WWII), through the ‘boomers’ (their children of the 50-60s), and Gen-X people of the 80s and concluding with the Millenials of the early 2000s, we have a constant and undeniable increase of people that claim no religious affiliation.
Ok, so what is the point of all this data? I certainly do not claim to be a social scientist. However, common sense points to the fact that if we as Catholics are to stave off the attacks of modern relativism and secularism, then we must focus our evangelical energies on the younger generation(s). The young adults of today will be the spiritual and societal leaders of tomorrow so it is imperative that we make contact now and convince them of the good news of the Gospel. That brings me to the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). FOCUS is an organization of recent graduates that receive training on Catholic evangelization and then are assigned a 2-year tour to one of dozens of American universities as missionaries.
I would like to introduce you to Gelton Morada, a young man that I met at St. Martin’s parish recently. When I first met Gelton, he was serving as a sponsor to one of our RCIA Catechumens. I recently learned that Gelton has joined FOCUS as a missionary where beginning this fall he will be relocating to near Columbia University in New York to minister to those students.
You can learn about him directly on his own web page below but before you click on that link I’d like to say a few things. The data I presented above was meant as a reminder of the serious threat to our Catholic faith today. In particular, the liberal secular universities are turning our young men and women away from Christ and His Church. Of course, Gelton and all of the FOCUS missionaries need our constant prayers, but it should be equally obvious that such mission work is not free. Gelton needs our financial support so I’m asking you to click on the links below and learn about Gelton and FOCUS. Take a look at the photo of the group destined for Columbia (Gelton is on the far left with the giant smile).
On Gelton’s own web page there is a “SUPPORT GELTON” button if you are able to financially support his mission:
Also, here is FOCUS’ homepage for general information: https://www.focus.org/
Thanks so much for your time. Pray for Gelton and the entire FOCUS organization.