Posted June 11, 2008
Hispanics Will Soon Comprise
More Than Half of U.S. Catholic Teens
Taken from the CARA Report, Georgetown University
Latino(a) teens will soon comprise more than half of all adolescent Catholics in the U.S. As a group they are more religiously disengaged than other Catholic teens, despite the fact that they participate in more personal and family-based spiritual practices and their parents demonstrate greater commitment to their faith than do the white Catholic parents.
A majority of the mostly religiously committed Hispanic Catholic parents has a difficult time getting their children to Sunday Mass and to participate in parish youth ministry programs, in contrast to the experience of the most committed white Catholic parents and most Protestant parents, both white and Hispanic.
The economic disparity between Latino and white Catholic families is tremendous and the vast majority of Latino(a) Catholic teens has at least one immigrant parent. These two facts alone present significant social barriers to the integration of all Hispanic and white Catholic teens in youth ministry settings.
The diverse cultural, linguistic, educational, and economic circumstances among Latino(a) Catholic teens and their families call for a differentiated approach to ministry with them in parishes and dioceses in order to effectively reach all segments of the population.
The strength and values of Hispanic families, together with the experience and apostolic zeal of Latino(a) young adults, are assets that the Church must learn to leverage in order to provide for the evangelization and involvement of Hispanic Catholic teens in the life of the parish community.