YOUNG ADULT CATHOLICS RELIGION
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Leaders of the American Catholic community want to and need to reach out to young adults. But effective ministry to young adults means that church leaders have to understand the attitudes and the needs of the current generation of Catholics in their 20s and 30s. This is why Dean Hoge, William Dinges, Mary Johnson, and Juan Gonzales began their study of young adult Catholics. How do both European-American and Latino Catholics actually live their Catholicism? Are they alienated from the Church? Are they cynical about the Church’s moral teachings? Do they take the Pope’s statements seriously? Do they attend Mass? Have significant numbers left for other churches? Do they want Catholic education for their children? Seeking answers to these and other questions, Dean Hoge and his colleagues conducted a national survey in 1997, supplemented by a telephone survey and then by personal interviews with over 800 men and women across the country. The interviews put a human face on the information provided, and they form a compelling part of this timely narrative. The authors underscore observations that include the strength and tenacity of Catholic identity in spite of many challenges, the high level of personal decision-making among those interviewed and surveyed, and the readiness of young Catholics for institutional reforms.
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