Vol.12 Nos. 8,9 August/September 1998
'You are all one in Christ'
Age as opportunity
'Unless you become like little children'
John O'Neill, who was till recently Professor of New Testament at Edinburgh University, examines the usual order of things in the Bible about the role of young and old and then gives some illuminating exceptions: 'Whichever way we turn, the biblical teaching about youth and age will expose us to scorn'.
Finding time for one another
How can we break down the barriers of age which have been set up by the twentieth century? Janet Atkins, who lives in Lancashire, draws on her long experience to suggest 'a few practical solutions as to how young and old might live together'.
A Church for adults
Fabian Radcliffe OP
How are we to stop the drift of the young away from the Church? Fabian Radcliffe, who is the National Co-ordinator to the Conference of Catholic Chaplains in Higher Education in England and Wales, sees the answer in the 'determined and sustained programme of adult involvement'. And crucial to this is the strengthening of chaplaincies in higher and further education.
Young People challenging the Church
Statements like 'Young people are not at Mass any more' and 'We are losing them' are freqently heard by Margaret Connelly, who works for the Catholic Youth Services. Here she suggests that parishes really need to recognise the importance of working with young people: 'Until it does this and really takes it to heart the parish will not have young people at its centre'.
'She wants our baby done'
Kevin McGinnell, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Milton Keynes, reflects on his parish experience of young and old. He is more positive about a changing pastoral situation which is more complex than the general caricature which describes it as an ageing group with falling numbers, for 'our distinction between young and old is rather too neat'.
A community of generations
Robert Kaggwa, a Ugandan priest teaching theology at the Missionary Institute, London, describes his first experience of seeing how in modern Europe we keep the generations apart. He compares this with his own African experience and concludes that human beings 'can live in a meaningful and enriching community of generations only if we stop keeping the generations apart'.
When do we lose the young?
Many young people lapse afer confirmation. Joanne fernandez, who is from Malaya and is studying economics at Cambridge University, attended the World Youth Day celebrated with the Pope in Paris last summer. Here she suggests some of the ways the young will want to stay in the Church to worship with older generations.
Preaching and teaching the Word
Tony Philpot and Anthony Towey
Mgr Tony Philpot, author of Priesthood in Reality (Kevin Mayhew 1998) offers some reflections on the Sunday lectionary reading from September while Anthony Towey, chaplain at Sheffield Hallam University, does the same for the month of October.
Postscript: The critical age
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