By Father Joe Kim
For the first time in the history of Harvard University it was reported that the freshman class has more atheists and agnostics than Christians and Jews. National research, some of which has been shared in these pages, continuously report dismal statistics on the declining faith and religious practice of youth and young adults. However, even in the face of secularism, there are exemplary young people filled with faith among us here in San Jose.
On November 5, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath honored 31 of our young disciples from our parish youth groups and Catholic high schools at the first annual “Saints in the City Banquet.” These young leaders were chosen by their youth ministers, campus ministers, pastors and chaplains, also present for the banquet. Joan Schenck, one of the youth ministers also honored that evening, said it is a gift for her to share with youth what “Christ has given me.” These young disciples were recognized for their Christian virtue, prayer, knowledge of the faith and service.
One of the parents said that the evening was the best complement she had received in the 18 years of raising her daughter. Parents and grandparents should be recognized for their stellar work in forming young disciples of Jesus Christ. Vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, and ministries in the church come from committed disciples extending an invitation for others to meet the same Jesus they follow.
As Molly Bonini, one of the youth honored, said, “This is what it means to be a disciple in our modern times for me—walking the road to Emmaus and receiving and being Christ through sharing our stories.”
These youth will be recognized again at the 10th Annual Revs Sems Basketball Challenge on February 19 at Santa Clara University. Congratulations to the youth and all those who support them. I encourage you to continue to invite youth to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ as we all become saints in the city.
Father Joe Kim is the Diocesan Director of Vocations and Seminarians. This annual banquet was put on by the Diocesan Offices of Youth and Young Adults, Hispanic Apostolate, Vocations and Evangelization. It was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Columbettes, and Santa Clara Serra Club.
More information at http://www.dsj.org/vocations/vocations-office.