This book carefully explores the claim that young adults (18 to 35) are leaving Catholicism in the United States. According to primary empirical research, many young adults stay and do so living their faith in engaged ways. Most, however, do not do it in the traditional context of the parish. Young adult Catholics are living their faith and spiritual life largely in small faith communities, ecclesial movements, faith-based affinity groups, at home, and through individual practice. The description of research findings is supplemented by commentaries from leaders in evangelization and young adult ministry, from both a theological and a sociological perspective.
In a church that is more culturally diverse and increasingly Hispanic, this book offers key insights to better understand the spirituality of young adult Catholics today. Contributors include Mark M. Gray, Michal J. Kramarek, Claudia Avila Cosnahan, Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, Hosffman Ospino, Darius Villalobos, Patricia Wittberg, SC, and Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ.
Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ, PhD, is a Jesuit of the USA East Province. He is the executive director for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). He has a PhD in city planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Previously he was the executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference-USA and director of formation and studies for the Jesuits of the Maryland and New York Provinces. Among his publications are: New Faces, New Possibilities: Cultural Diversity and Structural Change in Institutes of Women Religious, Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century, Pathways to Religious Life, and Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium.