Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

February 4, 2013

Emerging Youth Cultures

“Emerging youth cultures” will be the focus of the upcoming Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture to be held this week in Rome. Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi shares an overview of the theme of the Council:

"Walking down the streets with their ears blocked up with earphones, listening to their music, gives a sign that they are 'disconnected' from the unbearable social, political, and religious complexities that we adults have created. In a certain sense, they drop their gaze so as to exclude themselves because we have excluded them with our corruption and inconsistency, with uncertainty, unemployment, and marginalization. We parents, teachers, and priests, the ruling class, we must examine our conscience. The 'diversity' of youth, which in fact is not only negative, contains surprising seeds of fruitfulness and authenticity. We need only think of the choice to volunteer made by many young persons or their passion for music, sports, and friendship, which is their ways of telling us that man does not live by bread alone. We need only think of their spirituality, which is so original in its sincerity, or their freedom, which is hidden under a blanket of seeming indifference."

"For these and for many other reasons," concluded Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. "I am interested in the youth, who are the present (not only the future) of humanity.

Read the full article announcing the Council here.

For Your Consideration

  • Take a moment to think about the teenagers that you teach. Write three or four sentences describing them both individually and collectively.

  • What do you believe to be the future of today's youth?

  • What type of Catholics will the teens you teach be like in ten years?

  • If you could ask the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture to consider one topic, what would that be?

Feel free to share your observations in the comment section below.

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