Today my nephew turns 18, which officially places him in the “young adult” category (and further pushes me out L). His older brother is already half a year away from 20 and, to my great joy, is coming to spend a few days of his Spring Break with his uncle in New York. It’s hard to believe that these two, whom I have known since their birth, now count themselves among those of us who know ourselves as “adults.” Yet, I look forward, as I long have, to seeing what kind of adults they become. And I hope they get the help that they need to become who God desires them to be.
Our Church does not always to a great job of welcoming and encouraging those just beginning adulthood. This is perhaps the most crucial time in one’s life of faith. Yet, whenever the budget gets tight, programs and ministries for those of the young adult age group always seem to be the first to be cut. And, unfortunately, many of the spiritual resources out there are written with older adults in mind.
[Beware, shameless plug ahead]
Some of us are trying to change that. My book written for a young adult Christian audience will be out this Fall (from St. Anthony Messenger Press). And there are already a few out there that I would recommend: Beth Knobbe’s Finding My Voice, Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, James Martin’s In Good Company, Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God, Matthew Lickona’s Swimming With Scapulars, Jeremy Langford’s God Moments, Mike Hayes’ Googling God and Jen Owens and Kate Dugan’s From the Pews in the Back are each worthwhile. These are titles that might offer some encouragement and guidance to you as a young adult Catholic, or to the new young adult Catholic in your life!
-- Fr. Mark