Preaching to the Young…

Preaching to the Young…

Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered.    

Comments (39)

  • Constantine

    Preaching to the Young… radicalisation in other words.

    August 21, 2018 at 10:57 pm
    • editor


      Would you explain what you mean by “radicalisation” – is there is a single sentence in the video which is false or goes against the teaching of the Church? A genuine question as we don’t DO false teaching here.

      What, I repeat, do you mean by radicalisation?

      Note: no reply to this will see you moved from the moderation queue to the blacklist queue so I won’t even be tempted to publish your comments – since I won’t see them. Over to thee…

      August 22, 2018 at 8:37 am
  • gabriel syme

    Well done CT video team, I found that video very interesting and also very astute regarding the nature of young people and how the faith should be preached to them.

    Preaching is very important and even a dull wit would quickly notice the difference in homilies between a modern and a traditional environment. The former seems to use the greatest amount of words to say nothing of particular note,whereas the latter is challenging and instructive.

    And what great info in the video about Leon Bloy, for example – such quotes are like gems – and I liked the portrayal of our lifetime of faith as an adventure. It is exactly that and we are missing a trick by failing to get our youth into that mindset.

    The adventure theme reminded me of the quote on the TIA website:

    “La plus belle aventure du monde, c’est la nôtre”
    (The most beautiful adventure in the world is ours)

    Who said that? (There is a picture of Emperor Charlemagne on the same page?)

    August 21, 2018 at 11:31 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      The whole concept of the spiritual life being an adventure because it is a battle within ourselves, is never mentioned in the pulpit – not for years. And I include traditional pulpits in that criticism. The error of preaching about Scripture verses and what they meant in the first century or what the Doctors of the Church have said about them, prevails. A Level / Higher Scripture stuff – the stuff of the classroom, NOT the pulpit, where we should learn how to apply the Faith in our everyday lives. That includes, of course, the work of conquering ourselves, the spiritual battle, which is why we need the Sacraments. It’s about connecting the dots and there’s not a lot of it going on in contemporary pulpits – anywhere.

      St Paul’s “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” must puzzle the young who really don’t know why they have to attend Mass etc.

      Brought up in a secular society where shallow thinking rules and boils down to “if you want something, take it; right and wrong depends on your circumstances and in the end, your decisions are your choice…” – no battle there, no thinking required. Watching a news report about the Pope’s visit to Ireland, and listening to a young female “Catholic youth minister” [so, practising] say that the Church has to be “all inclusive”, looking genuinely puzzled at the idea that homosexuality is an issue, brought home to me the extent of the episcopal negligence that has brought Ireland [and the UK] to the point of destruction. We need to recall that when Our Lord promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church, He did not guarantee that it would not disappear in various parts of the world.

      Priests are missing golden opportunities to open up the spiritual life to the young, and bring them to understand its significance in their own lives, in the context of the teaching and discipline of Christ’s Church. It’s such a pity.

      August 22, 2018 at 8:46 am
      • Lily


        That is all absolutely true. The older generation could use the same sermons, because they go to Mass because it’s an obligation and they don’t seem to have been taught to “fight the good fight” either, they just do it all mechanically. I don’t see much “connecting the dots” either in the older generation where they can be uncharitable on their way to Mass and still receive Holy Communion and resume their lack of charity afterwards. I liked the mention of virtue in the video – we could use hearing more about that and practical examples, like you say, from the lives of saints. Priests would be well advised to pay attention to that video IMHO.

        August 22, 2018 at 9:26 am
      • Josephine


        I completely agree. Everyone needs such sermons, not just the young.

        August 22, 2018 at 9:52 am
    • Fidelis

      Gabriel Syme,

      “And what great info in the video about Leon Bloy”

      I thought that too. It’s a very powerful quote and would stir the souls of young people hearing it, I’m sure of it,

      The points made in the video about directing preaching in a way that will touch the young, are very important. At the moment, I agree, it’s all going over their heads.

      August 22, 2018 at 12:27 pm
  • Lionel

    I sincerely hope that many young will listen to your speech!

    August 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm
    • editor

      Thank you Lionel – but I’m more concerned that many priests will listen – and act on the video.

      August 22, 2018 at 8:47 am
  • Josephine

    There is a petition from The Remnant to try to stop the synod on young people, so I hope it’s OK if I post the link on this thread, since it’s about the young being taught the Faith. That won’t happen at this synod, if that last one on the family is anything to do by.

    August 22, 2018 at 9:53 am
    • editor


      Thank you – I’ve signed.

      August 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm
  • crofterlady

    We were at Mass in the Edinburgh chapel last Sunday and the priest, a Fr. Wingerden, gave the best sermon I’ve heard in years. It was all about God given pleasures to be appropriately availed of. He certainly had my young people paying careful attention.

    However, I just cannot agree on the attitude to modest dress. Modesty is sadly lacking in our society and we do need to be reminded of it but, to advocate Victorian dress is, in my opinion, ridiculous. My granny was modest but didn’t dress in long Amish style clothes! Neither does the queen and she can hardly be called immodest!

    August 22, 2018 at 10:24 am
    • gabriel syme


      You make a good point about modest clothes. Most questionable dress I have seen in Churches could probably be described as inappropriate, rather than immodest.

      I can only think of one example of dress which was perhaps a bit racy for a Church, but then that young lady’s appearance was only one of very many issues at the novus ordo circus I used to attend.

      At the novus ordo, in my experience, its not uncommon to see people wearing football shirts, never mind shorts etc. They wouldn’t wear a football shirt to a wedding or job interview, but think nothing of it at Church…..

      I do think its good to encourage high standards in dress at Church, but I agree with you that women would understandably resent being asked to dress in a very outdated or frumpy fashion.

      August 22, 2018 at 11:35 am
    • Fidelis


      What did the priest say about modest dress?

      August 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm
    • Athanasius


      I agree with you entirely. Clothes can be modest without looking 100 years out of fashion. I have seen some young women attend the Traditional Mass looking like cult members with big curtain-like frocks down to their ankles.

      I know the priests of the SSPX are anxious to promote modesty in dress as per the Church’s teaching. But every now and then one of them goes off track and starts talking about women in trousers. I usually go see them after Mass and ask what they would have made of St. Joan of Arc, had they been around in her lifetime. Would they perhaps have joined the rabble that insisted she be burned as a witch?

      So yes, modesty in dress is extremely important and should be preached about in the way the Church has always done. What some priests have to be careful of, however, is overstepping that teaching by including itemised garments that the Church has never condemned. Modesty is all the Church insists on.

      In the Novus Ordo parishes they simply don’t care what people wear, another indicator that the conciliar clergy are spiritually desensitised to immorality.

      August 22, 2018 at 2:35 pm
  • Nicky

    Before Vatican II the priests did make the sermons mean something to all of us. There was none of this just repeating the gospel of the day with vague generalisations about its meaning, usually ending with talk of us being responsible for helping the poor.

    No, that didn’t happen before the Council, we did hear the priests talking about why we had to attend Mass, what the Mass was, and why we had to confess regularly, and I remember in our parish, we were encouraged to buy the little booklets on sale at the stall which had edifying stories and short lives of the saints that sort of thing. That’s all gone now.

    I was thinking about this topic on the Feast of the Assumption when the priest spoke about what the Doctors of the Church said about it – not a single word about what it means to us today, and how we can learn all sorts of practical things from that Feast. I do wonder sometimes if priests really understand the faith themselves. I really do wonder about that. Judging from their homilies, they don’t seem to have a lot of insights. I shouldn’t generalise, so I know there will be exceptions but most of us are stuck with our local parish or a traditional chapel if we can reach one. To be honest, I can’t seem much difference and I’ve attended both, over the years. The homilies didn’t cause me to hurry back to the traditional chapel, I can tell you. They’re all much of a muchness now, in my experience.

    So I think the video has hit an important nerve. I hope priests do watch it and think carefully when they are preparing their homilies in future.

    August 22, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    • editor


      You are right to question whether priests do, themselves, understand the Faith. Nobody educated after 1965 (end of Vatican II) can lay claim to a sound Catholic education because, although the Council spent very little time discussing Catholic education (because, one Cardinal noted, we had never HAD such an educated and well informed laity!) the catechetical “experts” set about introducing the “Council changes” (the ones that were non-existent) without delay after 1964, in order to achieve their Modernist ends.

      The result is that we have priests ordained after the Council – and now bishops – who simply were not properly taught the Faith, and unless they’ve taken control of the situation and caught up, so to speak, of their own volition, their knowledge and understanding of the Faith can only BE impoverished. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions. We do need to pray hard for priests and bishops.

      August 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm
  • Spiritus

    An excellent video, and well done to all involved. I notice that you included a shot of the “drive thru” confessional, which is a mockery of the Sacrament of confession by a chain of bookmakers. It reminds me of the “ashes to go” novelty of one PP in the West of Ireland on each Ash Wednesday. Things like this reduce the Catholic faith to a cheap mockery ( I am struggling to find the appropriate way to say that these things reduce our faith to some sort of cheap circus). This sort of thing would not be tolerated by Jews or Muslims, but as has been said here many times, with the Catholic Church, anything goes: we won’t fight back or launch any sort of meaningful protest.
    I agree that the Sunday sermon should ideally be an instruction to Catholics on how to live a virtuous life in the modern world, rather than an explanation of the Reading or Gospel of the day. Speaking for myself, I find that living a good Catholic life is extremely difficult when all around me I find baptised Catholics leading very worldly and morally compromised lives, including within my own family who fail to condemn sinful and erroneous behaviours. I would also say that very many reading and contributing to this blog must travel some distance to access the Traditional Mass, yet I have heard Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo make a fuss if they have to travel any distance.
    I also think that some Traditional Catholics go to extremes with regard to modesty of dress.

    August 22, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for your kind words.

      Ideally, the priest should use the Gospel of the day to tailor his sermon to the Church’s teaching – after all, the Gospel and Catholic teaching are not opposed.

      There’s a really good quote from Pope John Paul II to this effect, but, for the life of me, I can’t find it. I know I quoted it as a student many moons ago, but, search as I might, and I did (!) I cannot find it. I might try Google, since St Anthony has let me down big time on this… If Google succeeds, where St Anthony turned a deaf ear, I’ll report back! 😀

      August 22, 2018 at 11:25 pm
  • crofterlady

    Fidelis, have you seen the August Bulletin? It was in the chapel on Sunday and very interesting it is too. However, Fr. Wall wrote the introduction in which he sets out how a woman should dress in church. I found it ridiculous to put it mildly. If a woman was to follow his instructions she would look like a muslim!

    I certainly think that we need to tidy up our act and remember who we are visiting. Dressing super casually is simply disrespectful.

    Whilst it is true that some women dress in a very provocative manner and are an occasion of sin to men, the latter need to take some responsibility too and practice (what we’ve taught our boys) i.e. custody of the eyes.

    August 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    • Petrus

      I thought the article on standards of dress at Mass was quite well written and balanced. In fact, the women got off lighter than the men!

      Anyway, the video is excellent and I hope many modern priests watch it and amend their ways.

      August 22, 2018 at 4:58 pm
    • editor


      I haven’t seen the bulletin to which you refer, but I’m surprised at what you write because, having discussed this issue with Fr Wall, I found him to be very sensible and on the subject of women/trousers, he’s totally indifferent. He has a sister, you see, and that can make all the difference in the world to the direction any male’s mind might take – just ask my brothers 😀

      August 22, 2018 at 11:28 pm
      • crofterlady

        Editor, I never mentioned trousers nor did Father. He wrote about exposing flesh in a rather silly manner with a prescribed dress code. Read the bulletin and you’ll see what I mean. Herewith I hope!

        August 23, 2018 at 11:06 am
      • Petrus


        I’ve looked again and I still can’t see anything anyone could object to. Sorry, but I don’t see your point and I think it’s unjust to describe what Fr Wall has written as “ridiculous”.

        August 23, 2018 at 1:35 pm
      • editor


        I had to laugh when I read Father Wall’s description of how women might dress for Church because he was describing what, in my youth, was a very popular fashion – the Laura Ashley style. I LOVED it. And I was the proud possessor of a brown and cream dress something in this style… Except it was full length, more for evening wear and I remember wearing it on a night out with a group of us eating at a posh restaurant. The treat was on a friend of ours who was an accountant – we were around 19 at the time, so it was out of our league; anyway, studying the menu, and astounded at the prices of the meals, I asked one of my nearest and dearest friends what she was having, to which she replied “a heart attack!”

        Anyway, here’s the style, so popular at that time. Father Wall might be behind the times, but not by that much, really 😀

        I have to admit, the above isn’t one of the nicest, I’ve seen. But you’ll get the idea, and on a young girl, it’s a beautiful style. Varied colours and designs, of course, some plain, some more demure than others (like my lovely brown and cream) but not at all old-fashioned… well, how could it be when it was the height of fashion at the time! 😀

        August 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I imagine it was easier to remove chocolate stains from the brown and cream version, rather than the one pictured….

        August 23, 2018 at 6:22 pm
      • editor


        I found this one, with a real live girl wearing it, a calmer shade, in blue – only the blouse part though, not the rest of it. Will try to find one at calf length for demo purposes…

        August 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm
      • Therese


        I was dreading reading the newsletter, as I had visions of trousergate again, but I have to agree with Petrus; I can’t see anything wrong with what Fr Wall wrote. I think it is very moderate and reasonable. I’m sure you agree that tight clothing and unduly exposed flesh is not just inappropriate when in Church, it is disrespectful, and I have seen some sad examples of lack of modesty – even decency, in the style of dress of some women, even when in church.

        I think we have to acknowledge that Fr Wall – being a man – knows more about the temptations that men experience than we do. We are the superior sex, remember!!

        August 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I think this is a deeply thoughtful video that should be distributed to every priest in the world. I may have missed it, but I would like to add one thing to the topics for preaching: people, both young and old, need to be taught why modern errors are errors, and where those errors lead. In fact, finishing a series of sermons on “The Errors of the Modern World” would probably take years!

    And in parallel, those errors could be compared to the errors of the modern(-ist) Church, while they’re at it. They are identical.

    The contrast between this approach to youth and the current approach by our disgrace of a Pope and his fellow travelers couldn’t be more stark. The modern Church follows in the fatal footsteps of Jean Jacques Rousseau, who, like Francis, taught (!) that youth must be listened to, not taught.

    August 22, 2018 at 6:38 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I kinda took it for granted that in preaching about any doctrine you care to name, the priest would point out the corresponding error of the day. Maybe I should have spelt that out, though, so thank you for highlighting my carelessness for all the world to see. I mean, it’s not that it bothers me or anything…

      Kidding. Back to your post…

      Well, that’s a first. I’ve never been accused of being “deeply thoughtful” before, but I must say, lacking in humility as it may sound, I do agree. Here’s my latest deep thought…

      August 22, 2018 at 11:47 pm
      • RCAVictor


        You mean you keep your chocolates in the fridge? Don’t worry, I won’t tell Athanasius where they are…..

        August 23, 2018 at 12:06 am
      • Athanasius

        Too late!

        August 23, 2018 at 12:30 am
      • RCAVictor


        BTW, the reason I brought that up about teaching vs. errors is that in my former (traditional) parish, the sermons were typically rather bland reflections on the Gospel or Epistle, but hardly ever on the errors raging through the Church and the world.

        My current (traditional) parish, however, supplies said teachings, in spades. Deo gracias!

        August 23, 2018 at 12:11 am
      • Helen

        RCA Victor, I know I’m a dumb blonde but I really haven’t a clue what you (and editor) mean! Can you explain?

        August 23, 2018 at 10:26 am
      • RCAVictor


        I was referring to sermons that talk about the teachings of the Church, but fail to put them into context – i.e. that those teachings are in direct opposition to the shallow fads of modern society, not to mention the shallow, self-indulgent, corrupt fads of the modernists in the Church.

        Example: Pope Francis, Cardinal A, Bishop B, or Father C, SJ, says ___________. Wrong! The Magisterium says ______________.

        Example: Political leader X says ___________. Wrong! The Magisterium says ____________.

        Those are the kinds of sermons we hardly ever heard at my former traditional parish.

        August 23, 2018 at 2:52 pm
  • Mike17

    “That includes, of course, the work of conquering ourselves, the spiritual battle,”
    I can’t speak about other churches but I get that regularly at my parish church and I’ve heard it at other Catholic churches I have attended.

    August 22, 2018 at 8:23 pm
    • editor


      Not sure if the number represents your age or you missed seeing in the New Year, but, just in case it’s the latter, allow me to wish you a very Happy New Year!

      You are very blessed to have regular sound sermons in your parish. That’s wonderful. And to have experienced the same in other churches. Fantastic.

      There are, of course, priests who DO try to preach the Faith – I recently tried to put my feminine wiles to good use in an attempt to obtain permission to publish one very good sermon where the priest upheld Catholic teaching/the moral law on homosexuality. It was a terrific sermon – apart from having been privileged to read it, I heard about it because there was a walk-out followed by complaint later, so, thank God, there are still some priests working hard to be faithful through these very dark days and they do, indeed, deserve recognition and support.

      The problem is, it’s not easy giving them said recognition and support, at least not publicly, because they prefer to lie low – for obvious reasons. The Walk-Out/Complaint Brigade would make their lives a misery. And of course, not every bishop wants a troublesome priest preaching the undiluted Faith. Everything really is upside down right now.

      August 22, 2018 at 11:56 pm
  • wendywalker95…PLEASE READ THESE STATISTICS AND SHIVER ………people should be telling young children about Chastity and Abstinance ..and Prince Harry supports Sexual health …

    September 1, 2018 at 3:19 pm
  • john daniel

    Thank you for this article. I think it was definitely something I needed to read today! I’m learning more and more of this in my 30’s…….

    September 17, 2018 at 5:45 am

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