I have heard too many people my age when talking about the Catholic Church saying that they feel left out. Many wonder if there is anything in the church for people between college and marriage. Others wonder if the church listens to our generation's opinions. Still others have given up and gone to other churches where they feel more spiritually fed.
Why is this happening in the church? There are many reasons, but from what I've seen the laity and clergy have blinders on focusing on their own demographic and children. I'm not saying that either is wrong to focus on, but the young adult, especially single young adults are forgotten and left out in most parishes. At the most basic level, the two groups don't mix or socialize. This polarizes parishes and eventually the young adults fall away because they are a minority of attendees at Mass.
It's time for the leaders of the church to reach out to our generation. We are the future, or so we were told in youth group and Newman centers across the nation. We've been trained in various ministries much more than any previous generation simply because we're the first pure post Vatican II generation. For as long as we can remember, the church has told us how empowered the laity is now and how we should strive to take a role in this.
To any that may read this that aren't in my generation. I ask you to do the following:
1) Say hello to a young adult at Mass and introduce yourself.
2) Listen to their needs and ideas for the Church.
3) Treat our generation as adult members of the Church.