Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The sad state of Catholic youth ministry

I have commented not infrequently on many Catholic Youth events and ideas in the mainstream Church that I believe are detrimental to Catholic faith and worship. Case in point, have a look at the video linked up below. In this video, you will see a speaker telling Catholic youth leaders not to pray, you will see the Precious Blood being consecrated in about a dozen glass cups, you will see a horde of EMHC's stretched out in a long line giving communion in the hand, and most amusing of all, you will literally see a performer leading Catholic youth directors in singing "Kumbaya." I had no idea that "Kumbaya" was literally sung at these type of things. Some later said that this was done in jest, but I'm not so sure...

[Unfortunately, this video is no longer available - but tale my word for it, it was bad!]

Now remember, this is the biggest Catholic Youth organization out there. This is the group that is responsible for the event known as NCYC, which I have previously posted on in depth. I just got a glimpse of the promo video for NCYC 2009, which is actually composed of footage from NCYC 2007, which I attended. I recall that in my original 2007 posts, (here and here) there were some things I saw that defied explanation. Take this quote:

That night we went to what was billed as "evening prayer" but was actually this weird dance with the lights off where these kids all were twirling glow sticks in the shape of a human body while this crazy music was playing. Bizarre.

I had a hard time describing this event, but you can actually see it on this video at 2:30-2:34. Pay attention for it.

I am so saddened by this approach to Catholic Youth work, because there is such a richness in Catholic spirituality and tradition that kids are not being given -instead they are getting emotional Protestantism, pure and simple. They are being robbed: they come looking for bread and are given a scorpion. I've often considered founding my own Catholic Youth organization to provide some sort of alternative to what is offered by NCYM. I think it would take off.

Well, I'll get around to it as soon as I can. Right after I finish my two novels, run for State Legislature, get my MA, finish producing my homemade TV series, record that CD I've been saving up for and tie up a few other minor projects on my To-Do list.


Anonymous said...

uummmm.... hey buddy..... on your list you forgot about the BIG job of raising your beautiful children.. :)

I would suggest a website, but then you might 7thCommandment my own wish list.

So I will refrain and allow you to 10thCommandment it later.


Nick said...

It's a damn shame (oops, it's Ash Wednesday) what these poor youth are subjected to. It's totally counter-productive, the net gain is a loss for their spiritual growth.

It's liberal church leadership and youth leaders who have tried to follow Protestant style 'marketing to kids' techniques, but there is simply nothing Catholic about this.

This kind of stuff can get my blood boiling, and because it's Lent I should stop while I'm ahead.

Really, all a Catholic parent can do these days is guard their own little flock.

Adrienne said...

Stomach churning!

Anonymous said...

Without the footage of the clergy, the crucifix, and Holy Communion, you'd think we were looking at a Protestant giant praise and worship session. I think it's wonderful that Catholic leaders are looking for innovative ways to reach out to the young people, but it is sad that we emulate to be more like the Protestants in order to attract youth to the Catholic faith.

Boniface said...


I agree - at least it is good they want to reach youth, but sometimes a faulty pedagogy can cancel out much of the good of the substance that might have otherwise been derived.

I hope you all are actually watched the first video on the link - what did yoiu make of that guy trying to get the people ot sing Kumbaya? I thought it was funny that he was saying, "A little more participation, please."

Anonymous said...

You have taken a ten second clip of someone singing "Kumbaya" at a four day conference 2-1/2 years ago out of context. It was part of a "comedy club" evening which included some goofing on older hymns.

If you did have a national organization… What is happening presently that you would celebrate?

Sam Danziger said...

I fear you are being unfair when you call events like these "emotional Protestantism."

Speaking from personal experience, these Youths will find their way over to Evangelical Protestantism when they really need to know what God is about.

Kyrie Eleison.

Boniface said...


First off, though I know it does not refer to this topic, please see the linked post below regarding trying to justify otherwise unorthodox events by a appeal to the good work or "fruits" that is done there.

Secondly, I have been to these things and, no, good evangelization does not go on there. They are given a watered down, Protestantized version of the Faith, the breakout sessions are run by heretics (like Bro. Mickey in my original NCYC post, who wants to intentionally destroy Catholic images), there is a wide smattering of Marxism in some of the talks, rampant liturgical abuse, ignorance of Catholic Tradition, emotionalism substituted for spirituality and in general just a big sappy love fest with little substance. I've been to these things - I know what they are.

The Postmodernist said...

As a traditional Catholic who attends SSPX Masses regularly, and is also a current member of a Charismatic group (i.e. Singles for Christ SFC-CFC), I just want to ask if the so-called Charismatic movement can still be salvaged. From where I'm at, there are even Charismatics who regularly attend the Tridentine Mass and resist the Novus Ordo abuses in their parishes. I attended one such Mass with a group composed by Charismatics, and celebrated by a priest trained by the SSPX, and I have noticed that they too can celebrate holy mass if only to be informed and catechized properly. I guess the problem with today's Charismatic movement, is that their Spiritual Directors and the Bishops overseeing these groups are the ones at fault. If only they teach these people then I think these people will even appreciate Catholic Tradition and traditional Catholic doctrines. Yes it is true that the said Charismatic group which I had the opportunity to join at Mass, would have their regular dancing, Bible study, etc, etc, but these are done only after the Leonine prayers and the priest has exited from the sanctuary.

Maybe we traditional Catholics can see some good points in this movement and instead present to them the case of authentic Catholic Tradition. Just my two cents.

Instavrare Omnia In Christo

Boniface said...


Great comments. Please be aware that my problem with the above mentioned Youth events is not that they are "charismatic." Actually, they are not really charismatic at all because there is no emphasis on charismatic gifts. No real charismatic Catholic would stand for what goes on at these events. No, I am against them because they are heretical (see my original NCYC posts).

THere is a strong yet so far unexplored link between charismatics and traditionalists, and I think it is based in love for the Truth and the Lord. I know quite a few Trads who were charismatics or who may still be so.

Anonymous said...

Scott Hanh says words to this effect:

" honest Charismatic enjoys and understands and hopes that there is a place in the Catholic Church for the movement ....

others too often only hope that there is a place in the movement for the Catholic Church....."

I see that often... and prefer to be centered in the Catholic Church.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

How hard would it be for the NCYC to hold a Mass without liturgical abuses? No glass "sacred vessels" for starters...