My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Spirituality of Young Catholics



Dear Blog Visitors:

The title of this post may have caught some readers by surprise. You are probably asking: “What do you mean by young?” For the purpose of this topic, I am addressing my comments primarily to young Catholics who fall in the range from age 20 to age 45 respectively. I realize that one could make a very good argument for feeling young at any age, but since many of my critics fall in the age range I am addressing, I thought I would keep my focus here.

At age 60, I am part of a large group of Catholics who experienced the transition from the pre-Vatican II Church to the post-Vatican II Church. Those in the group I am addressing in this post are of the post-Vatican II generation. What I have discovered in recent years is that there is a strong yearning for a meaningful spirituality in their lives, whether it is in the context of Catholicism or via their personal journeys.

If you have watched my videos on YouTube, you are aware that I have occasionally criticized a few young Catholics, only because of comments they made that appeared to be sexist in scope. Because I have been working diligently toward a church that does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation of marital status, I have logically taken a defensive stance when citing persons of faith who simply want a more inclusive church. Having said this, I also want to issue praise when such praise is due.

Videos I have made have either been in the entertainment or church-reform modes. However, I have also recently reached out to a few persons with whom I have experienced disagreements in recent years. As stated, most of these persons fall within the 20-45 range. The few young Catholics who have criticized me refer to themselves as traditionalists. While I have differed with them on gender-related issues (I support the ordination of women and they do not), I nevertheless find myself in full agreement with their desire for a liturgy that is more reverent.

I am intrigued by the fact that many young Catholics who refer to themselves as traditionalists have expressed a love for the Latin Mass, and correspondingly, they have made an effort to acquaint themselves with the early music of the Roman Catholic Church. In my personal life, I have come to embrace a variety of liturgical styles, with reverence taking a high priority.

As a means of reconciling differences I have experienced with a few traditionalists, I want to both applaud and encourage their work toward preserving music of the church that is in danger of being lost in archives. Locally, I truly appreciate the work of musical groups who continue to play and sing this cherished music. I know there are similar groups around the world, so I fully share in the zeal of traditionalists in their preservation efforts. (If I have a choice of going to a Mass with traditional music or a Mass with a contemporary ensemble, I will always choose the traditional.)

It is the younger generation that will need to mold the church of the future. At age 60, I consider myself to be part of a bridge that extends from the pre-Vatican II church to the post-Vatican II church of today. Whether the church of the future becomes more traditional or more contemporary will be up to young persons of faith. It is my prayer that as they contemplate the future, they will work toward a liturgy that is both reverent and inclusive.

Peace to all,
Ray Grosswirth

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