Ever wonder why you don’t see more Catholic young adults in the pews at Mass on a Sunday morning? They’re out there, but a lot of them no longer go to Mass anymore or practice the Faith. Many seem to be slowly but surely drifting away from their relationship with God.
Perhaps you personally know some younger Catholics who fit this description. They’re “good kids” but are becoming increasingly distracted by the glittering enticements of the world, and their grasp on the Catholic Faith they were raised in grows weaker by the day.
Exactly what does our Catholic Faith mean to them? Well, for many in high school and college, the sad answer is: “less and less.”
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this creeping indifference to God and the Church among young-adult Catholics in high school and college is a serious problem that urgently needs our attention.
Did you know? A recent “Spirituality in Higher Education” survey conducted among college students, including Catholic students, by the Higher Education Research Institute, revealed some startling and dangerous results.
While 75% of college students are searching for “meaning and purpose” in their lives, sadly the majority of our young Catholics are ignoring God’s truth. For example:
- 71% of Catholic seniors believe same-sex couples should have the legal right to marry,
- 57% of Catholic seniors believe abortion should be legal,
- 49% of Catholic seniors believe if two people really like each other, it’s OK to have sexual relations even if they’ve known each other a short period of time and are not married.
It’s no wonder, then, that only half of Catholic high-school seniors say they attend Mass only “infrequently” and 22% attend not at all! That’s close to three-quarters of Catholic high-school and college students missing from the pews on any given Sunday. To say that’s a “shame” is a major understatement.
Sadly, we can see these detached, disinterested, worldly attitudes carrying on to their post-college lives as well. According to the respected Gallup organization, most Catholic young adults do not feel the need (much less the obligation) to attend Sunday Mass, go to confession at least once a year, or even marry in the church. Many have simply lost any sense that daily prayer is important or helpful.
And what perhaps is the most shocking indication of the problem we face as a Church, a sizable number of adult Catholics, not just young adults, say they do not understand their Catholic beliefs well enough to explain them adequately to their own children, friends, and co-workers. I know this is true from personal experience, having been told this, face-to-face, by countless Catholic men and women, single and married, of all ages.
This lack of knowledge is a serious, serious problem, and I have dedicated my professional life to helping do something to correct it.
Honestly, if we (as in you and I) don’t do something immediately to help the Church try to restore even just a basic understanding and love for Catholic truth in the lives of the current and next generation of Catholics, then I fear for the future of the Catholic Church in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere in the West.
My name is Patrick Madrid, and I have a plan to help set our young people on fire with a deeper understanding of and love for the fullness of God’s eternal truth as taught by the Catholic Church. I want them to know the truth so that, as Christ promised, the truth can set them free.
I’m hoping and praying you will help me work toward this worthy goal.
My plan is simple and explaining it will take just a moment of your time. But, with your help, the positive impact of this plan will make a huge difference to the future and strength of our fellow Catholics.
Perhaps you already know me. Maybe you’ve seen me on TV, hosting programs on EWTN, such as “Pope Fiction,” “Search and Rescue,” and “Where Is That in the Bible?” Or maybe you’ve tuned in to my live, daily call-in radio show, “Right Here, Right Now,” or picked up one of my 18 books on Catholic apologetics, such as Search and Rescue, Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist, or one of the volumes in my Surprised by Truth series of books. Perhaps you’ve read Envoy Magazine, the quarterly Catholic journal I published for many years.
My work is all about spreading the Good News of our Lord Jesus and the eternal Truths of the Church He established: the Catholic Church. I believe that Jesus Christ’s message to His followers is still just as important today as it ever was, “You are truly my disciples if you obey my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8: 31,32.
And my heart is grieving for my fellow Catholics of all ages, especially those teenagers and young adults in high school and college. They are the most at risk for leaving the Catholic Faith. It usually happens as they transition to college and enter into this morally-challenged environment with its intense peer pressure. It’s here we must meet them armed with the power of God’s Truth that brings healing, hope and freedom.
It’s why I’m so pleased to introduce you to the Envoy Institute, a Catholic apostolate dedicated to helping equip Catholics of all ages to be able to do three important things:
- To explain their Catholic beliefs more intelligently
- To defend those beliefs more charitably, and
- To share their the Catholic Faith more effectively
Simply put, the goal of the Envoy Institute is to help Catholics, especially our young adults, stand firm in their Catholic Faith.
With the help of several dedicated and highly talented Catholics, I launched the Envoy apostolate in 1996. Ever since, we have worked hard to spread and strengthen the knowledge of the Faith among Catholics, through our quarterly print magazine Envoy (published from 1996-2011), as well as our live apologetics conferences, training sessions, and apologetics summer camps — all of which are taught by noted Catholic leaders and experts in various fields of knowledge, and all loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
The Envoy Institute exists to help equip Catholics to answer our generation’s most searching questions, questions such as:
How do I make sense of God in a suffering world?
How can I avoid getting caught up and pulled a way from my Catholic Faith in today’s culture of drinking, drugs, and sexual promiscuity?
How can I know and follow Jesus Christ in a culture crowded with conflicting, competing religious ideologies, atheistic world views, and secular agendas?
How can I know that God exists? Is there actual evidence, or must I accept everything strictly by faith?
If God does exist, what does He want me to do and how does He want me to do it?
Do I really need the Church, the Mass and the Sacraments? Isn’t it enough to be a good person and be “spiritual” without being religious?
Is it right and ethical to “legislate” morality?
Well, there are excellent, biblical, historical, rational answers to each of those pressing questions. The problem is, countless Catholics these days have no idea that these solid answers even exist, much less, where to find them. That’s where we come in.
The Envoy Institute’s Catholic Apologetics Summer Camp is dedicated to fixing this serious problem! We pro-actively teach young Catholics exactly what these answers are, how to make good and effective use of them, and, as they move forward through life, how to bring them to bear as life’s moral, religious, and world-view challenges unfold before them (as they inevitably will).
I hope that you, like I, want to make sure our fellow Catholics are rooted in the eternal truth of the Catholic Faith.
If you feel as I do, then please accept my personal invitation to support the work of the Envoy Institute with a tax-deductible donation of any amount.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and financial support for the Envoy Institute . Working and praying together, we can help the Church make an eternal difference in the lives of Catholics, young and not so young, who are struggling to know and live the truth.
As Jesus said to His disciples, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Thank you, and may God bless you.
Yours for a stronger, vibrant Catholic future,
Patrick Madrid, president and founder
The Envoy Institute