One of the most moving memories of this weekend’s Eucharistic Congress can be summed up in this photo of Kolbe Murrey and his young sister, Magdalen. It was taken just before the Eucharistic Procession in which thousands of the faithful followed Bishop Peter Jugis from St. Peter Church to the convention center, as he elevated the Blessed Sacrament.
As a college seminarian, Kolbe processed with other seminarians from our diocese, while Magdalen processed with other first communicants. Catholics of all ages joined in the procession, including a sea of many families holding hands, pushing strollers, or reverently praying the rosary.
What a contrast to a recent study released by St. Mary’s Press and Georgetown University, which stated that 74% of surveyed adults said that they left the Catholic faith between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
While these statistics are sad, the participation of so many families at Eucharistic Congress shows that there is so much parents can do to effectively raise their children to be the next generation of faithful Catholics.
Parents who brought their families to Eucharistic Congress are a testament that raising faithful children requires more than just taking them to church on Sunday. These parents demonstrate the need for a personal relationship with Our Lord, are leading them into that relationship, and helping them to recognize Christ and His Body the Church as the source of all blessings. How important is the “seminary” of the family? Where do we think seminarians come from? Join me in praying for the families of the seminarians, both present and those families who are at this moment preparing the future classes of St Joseph College Seminary.
*Source: “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics,” St. Mary’s Press/Minnesota, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)/Georgetown University.