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Loyola Institute for Ministry, Archdiocese of New Orleans, St. Mary’s Press Host Workshop on Increasing Faith Engagement among Young Catholics

Loyola press release - August 15, 2018

As a leader in Catholic ministry and higher education, the Loyola Institute for Ministry of Loyola University New Orleans partners this Saturday with the Archdiocese of New Orleans and St. Mary’s Press to host Going, Going, Gone, a workshop focused on what can be done to address disaffiliation of young Catholics and maintain or increase faith engagement into young adulthood.

Keeping young adults engaged in their faith – and drawing their disaffected peers back to church – requires more than simply mounting another event targeted at their demographic. Tracey Lamont, assistant professor of religious education at the Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM), recently shared this wisdom in a front-page article in The Clarion Herald.

“With the Synod on Young People that Pope Francis is leading this fall in Rome,” said Tom Ryan, director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry, “the Church is rightly focusing on the gifts young Catholics have to offer and the challenges they face. Our workshop at Loyola is contributing to the Church’s efforts in young adult ministry.”

Based on the book, Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics, Saturday’s workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Miller Hall, Room 114, on main campus at Loyola, 6363 St. Charles Ave. The conference is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Based on the ground-breaking national study by Saint Mary’s Press and by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, and building on his shorter presentation at this year's Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference, pastoral minister and researcher Bob McCarty in this workshop will explore the underlying dynamics that lead to disaffiliation, describe the factors that reinforce those dynamics, and examine the implications for parish life, catechesis, liturgy, vocational discernment, and pastoral ministry.

Attendees will hear, in young people’s own words, why they disaffiliate. Conference leaders will propose pastoral strategies that enhance affiliation and engagement with the faith community and consider possible outreach and invitation strategies for the unchurched.

The project is capturing the stories of young adults, both videotaped and written, to foster ongoing conversations about disaffiliation. To learn more about the workshop and to access pastoral resources for enhancing affiliation and engagement with the faith community and additional research findings, click here.

The Loyola Institute for Ministry will host a related workshop on Saturday, November 3, 2018 entitled "Listening to Young People Around the World" to highlight a new book from Orbis Press on young adult ministry and review the results of the Synod on Youth that Pope Francis will lead in Rome this October. More information is available here.

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