A Faithful Challenge: A Longitudinal Analysis of the National Study of Youth and Religion Sample of Catholic Adolescents and Emerging Adults in Light of the Outcomes for Adolescent Catechesis. (8.5 MB)
Beginning in 2004 and 2005 with the publications National Study of Youth and Religion: Analysis on the Population of Catholic Teenagers and Their Parents and Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Teenagers, Catholic Bishops, researchers, youth ministry practitioners, and parents have been reflecting on the findings of The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR). Without a doubt, this seminal study on youth and religion led by Dr. Christian Smith, has informed and challenged the Catholic Church to be faithful in examining the challenges it faces in ministering to the young church of teenagers and emerging adults. This research report continues this examination by highlighting findings of the Catholic sample within NSYR longitudinal data through the lens of adolescent catechesis.
The National Initiative for Adolescent Catechesis (NIAC) has provided a lens from which to view the effectiveness of our catechetical efforts by identifying eight outcomes for adolescent faith formation. This study analyzes how NSYR Wave 1 Catholic teenagers were formed in faith and the impact of that formation on Wave 3 Catholic emerging adults in light of the eight outcomes. Two things stand out, among the findings of this analysis. First, the positive impact of any faith formation effort including Catholic School, Parish Religious Education, Youth Group, and Confirmation Preparation Programs versus none is clear in this analysis, indicating the Church must continue to be faithful and intentional in its efforts to catechize its young members. Second, formation by committed parents in the teenage years has the most significant impact on forming faith-filled emerging adults.
Survey by Episcopal Region of the Grades Confirmation is Celebrated
These are the preliminary reports on the average age of confirmation in Roman Catholic dioceses nationally. This report was the result of a voluntary survey sent to diocesan Directors of Religious Education and Directors of Youth Ministry. Primarily only one person from each diocese responded, however occasionally both directors responded. The reports are divided by episcopal region and include a national report.