What Matters Most

Empowering Young Catholics for Life's Big Decisions

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: March 2, 2018

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What if we taught young people that they can measure success by how they follow Christ rather than by how much money they make or where they go to college?

In What Matters Most, University of Notre Dame theology professor Leonard J. DeLorenzo urges youth ministers, teachers, and parents to help young people redefine success in light of their call to discipleship—completely saying yes to God.

In Luke's account of the Annunciation, Mary offers a true model of discipleship for young people to follow. Her example will empower them to make choices about how to live their lives as a courageous yes to God in everything they choose—just as she did.

DeLorenzo, who served as the long-time director of Notre Dame Vision—a program designed to help young Catholics find their true calling as disciples of Jesus—shows how Mary exhibited four habits that will guide young people to make important life decisions:

  • Listen carefully and practice patience.
  • Remember who we are and what we value most.
  • Respond with compassion to choices we face.
  • Embrace sacrifice for the sake of love.

DeLorenzo includes personal stories from his experience as a father and working with youth and young adults with spiritual wisdom to equip teachers, mentors, pastoral ministers, and parents to reexamine the way they encourage and help form young Catholics approaching significant life choices such as college and jobs. He presents ways to remedy spiritual deficits in these young people created by cultural realities such as the fast pace of tech-driven lives and the looming pressure to succeed with worldly accomplishments. 

Product Details

Pages: 224

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781594718076

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “Excellent work.”


    “Thanks to What Matters Most, parents and faith formation ministers have a map for the difficult journey of raising Catholic children in the midst of a confusing world. Leonard DeLorenzo invites us to look to Mary as the perfect role model for choosing to live as disciples. You will be encouraged and experience a spiritual deepening because of his excellent work!”

    Michael St. Pierre
    Executive Director
    Catholic Campus Ministry Association

  • “Masterful insights.”


    “Lenny DeLorenzo's personal witness, masterful insights, crucial and compelling questions, and practical explanations make What Matters Most an essential text for anyone who works with and loves young people today.”

    Katie Prejean McGrady
    Catholic speaker and author of Follow

  • “Radically simple and profoundly challenging.”


    What Matters Most is both radically simple and profoundly challenging. It portrays our work in the formation of young people today—tomorrow's saints—as daunting but doable. The ultimate goal is clearly, positively, and often beautifully defined.”

    Adam Kronk
    Head of School
    La Lumiere School

  • “Engaging.”


    “What Matters Most is an engaging theological reflection on the important work of introducing—or reintroducing —young people to a vital spiritual life in Christ. Leonard DeLorenzo takes on the courageous task of challenging the prevailing cultural ethos that encourages youth to value accomplishment, achievement, and scholastic metrics over faithfulness to the Gospel's call to listen, remember, respond, and sacrifice.”

    Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C.
    University of Portland

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