We understand young adult Catholics are under a lot of pressure from the secular world. There is a growing tide of atheism. More and more young people are skeptical about anything related to spirituality, much less formal institutional religion. We understand it. We get it. This is why you have come to the right place because this is your online home for faith.
Let me share my personal testimony. I went through what a lot of you guys are going through. I reached a point in college where I started to become convinced that there was no God and that religion is a sham, that it was all just a giant historical scam, and I did not want to be any part of it.
So, I went to what I thought would be my final confession at this small out-of-the-way church at the outskirts of the college town that I was living in. It was a very liberal town because the college attracted a quite abundant and cosmopolitan student body, but there was this little humble Catholic Church at the outskirts of town almost near the border of the next big city that I went to.
I chose that church for a reason. I was not normally a parishioner of that church. My parish church was the Catholic Church right across the campus. The reason I chose that church was I did not want my confessor to know me. I did not want them to, in any way, trace my confession back to me.
So, I went to the confessional booth, and the priest said, “You have anything to confess?” I said I had a lot to confess, but it all doesn’t really matter because I am beginning to think that God doesn’t exist, that religion is simply a scam, that this is all only a big money-making scheme, and I just gave him my spiel.
If you have any agnostic friends or atheist friends, or if you had atheistic thoughts, you know exactly where I’m coming from. So, I read him the Riot Act, and the priest, God bless him, just listened to it patiently, calmly, gently.
After I got all this stuff off my chest, he said, “You know it’s a good thing that you’re doubting because that is an opportunity for you to open your heart to the essence of what your parents passed onto you. You see, a lot of Catholics are only Catholics because their parents pass their faith onto them. It is not real to them. They did not personally engage with the diversity of traditions and truths that we have in our church.”
“Instead, it’s kind of like a family heirloom that’s merely passed on from generation to generation and, ultimately, it’s simply a label and eventually when you’re only carrying around the label, it all starts to wear out sooner or later, and people just stop going to church. They become lapsed Catholics, or they eventually completely leave the church altogether.”
“The fact that you’re having these doubts is good news because now you have a tremendous opportunity to fully personally experience these truths and make them your own. Your Catholicism, should you choose to remain in the faith, will no longer be a product of family tradition. It would no longer be an effect of your mother’s pressure on you to go to Sunday Mass. Instead, it becomes something which makes sense in your life because you see that it helps and shines blessings on everything going on in your life. You’d be surprised as to how many answers you will find in the Catholic tradition.”
I was blown away by this response because I was expecting the priest to just tell me that I was going to hell, and that was exactly the kind of fire-and-brimstone response that I was prepared for because that’s all I needed to validate all my suspicion, skepticism and frankly, discomfort with the church at that time.
However, when he gave me that response, it opened my heart, and I began to research more. I began to attend church regularly and, for the first time in my life as a young Catholic, I opened my ears, and I was filled with God’s grace.
I share this story with you because I understand what you’re going through. In fact, a lot of the older people you see at church, at some point in their lives, they grappled with the issues that you’re grappling with.
There is no right or wrong answer because you’re the only person that can give yourself that answer. The best we can do is to give you group inspiration, share resources with you and, most importantly, share testimonials of people who are traveling a mile in your shoes.
By hanging out at this website, you will get networking opportunities for other lay ministers as well as questioning youth. Our hope is that by laying it all out on the table and refusing to judge each other and helping to inspire each other, we can all grow together in faith. God bless you!