Young Adult Catholics — Engaged in the Faith Online, or Not?

According to Robert DeFrancesco, Catholic Press Association president and editor and associate publisher of The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese, a new CARA study reveals “younger Catholics are not clamoring for news online.”

Really? Younger Catholics are not clamoring for news online, but they want it in print?

Hmm. I’m a bit surprised. I’m a Millennial (in fact, among the oldest year groups in the Millennial generation). The majority of my Catholic friends do use the internet for reading Catholic news, learning about or finding spirituality resources, looking up Bible or Catechism quotes, reading magazine articles in America, etc. Most Catholics in my age group that I meet don’t make parish registration a priority, nevermind signing up for a print-based Catholic news publication.

If I had to take a guess, the reality is that maybe younger Catholics are not that active in the faith to begin with, and aren’t “clamoring” for news in any format. Maybe they are searching, however, for resources for prayer, spirituality, music, etc. Just a guess. 😉

I’ll be interested to see the details on this CARA communications study (I haven’t found them yet), to examine how it compares to a new Barna Group study entitled, “How Technology is Changing Millennial Faith.” Barna surveys Christian adults, not specifically Catholics as CARA does. However, a quick info-graphic from Barna’s report reveals some notable trends that make me hesitant to accept DeFrancesco’s conclusion, without caveats or further detail. For example…

This strikes me as true to my experiences and observations of peers. It will be interesting to see the age breakdown in the CARA survey, the sample size/methodology, and more to determine if the studies do reach different conclusions about technology use of young adults when it comes to faith.

If it turns out, that practicing Catholic Millennials are significantly higher or lower technology use than the broader Christian Millennial population, I wonder what that means? And, what does it practically mean for parishes, when different generations have significantly different trends and uses of technology? (which I’m guessing the CARA study will show).

I can’t wait for the details 🙂 Your thoughts?

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