Catholics reach youth admist challenges of a wired culture

How do you keep kids connected with God in a wired and instantaneous generation?  That is one major question on tap Tuesday, April 21, at the Portland Catholic Archdiocese workshop, “Adolescent Catechesis: Knowing Jesus, Growing as Disciples” (at St. Edward Church in Keizer).

About one-half of teens, age 12-17 own cell phones (Pew Internet Research).  And a national study by OTX and eCRUSH found that 51% of teens identity and sense of community is so wrapped up in their cell phones that they “absolutely could not live without” their cell phones (, 19 Nov 2007).  When asked how cell phones made them ‘feel,’ teens opted for connectivity with friends and family (71%)—well above being fashionable (30%).

Michal Horace is Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese.  Horace points to the instantaneous nature of our wired culture that creates an instant gratification mindset. “Some of our challenge is trying to sort out what are the methods that can best work with the Google, You Tube, MySpace generation,” he notes.
Asked why teens often become church drop-outs Horace is quick to observe that today’s youth have a deep sense of spirituality, “but they don’t necessarily connect with the organized church,” he explains. “It’s our challenge to bridge that gap.”

Horace planned the training event for youth ministers who are active in the faith formation of young people.   The presenter is Tom East, Center for Ministry Development (, and one of the nation’s leading experts in the country on faith formation for young and old believers alike, more formally known as catechesis.  About 30 attendees are expected at the one day workshop to focus on techniques and the latest research in providing for effective religious formation of youth.

It’s no secret that involving parents as the primary faith-formers (catechizers) of young people is key to success, and the conference will address how families and parents can be enjoined in the process.

Register online at or by calling 1-888-723-2433. Cost is $49 including materials/lunch.  For further information or financial assistance contact the Portland Archdiocese Office of Youth Ministry, 503-234-5334.


Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.