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Renewal Youth

Young Catholics gather for Road to Renewal listening session

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More than 40 young Catholics came from throughout the diocese on Tuesday night, Nov. 16, to share their experiences of growing up and practicing their faith as the Road to Renewal hosted a Young Adult Listening session at St. Leo the Great Parish in Amherst. 

Following a welcome from Father Bryan Zielenieski, vicar for Renewal and Development, he opened the floor for introductions from attendees who traveled from throughout Western New York Northtowns, city, and Southtowns – and as far as Alfred University – to provide their insight about the church and renewal.

The group discussed several issues, and some lamented that at times, it’s hard to be a practicing Catholic with few of their peers going to Mass.

A suggestion was made that more resources are needed for parents to help raise their children in the faith. A young woman said that more support is needed for women pursuing religious life.

Some participants expressed a desire to return to more traditional Church practices citing the Latin Mass and more emphasis on eucharistic adoration. A young man spoke of not being raised Catholic by parents who were either agnostic or atheist. A young woman said that when she was younger, she was expected to follow Catholicism and not understand it, and that the Church and faith were a choice.

A suggestion was made that both Catholic school religious education as well religious education for non-Catholic school children be revamped to become more contemporary and relevant. 

A number of the attendees agreed that the Renewal effort was an opportunity for Catholics to renew their faith.

As the listening session concluded, Ted Musco, director of Renewal Mission and Development, thanked the group for their input and pledged to work with all participants to address their spiritual needs. 

A special thank you goes out to the young adult leaders from St. Benedict’s and St. Leo’s for hosting the listening session. 

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