Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, The National Catholic Reporter’s website has posted a wonderful column by Nicole Sotelo, one of the newspaper’s regular “Young Voices” writers. It is a love story.
Sotelo writes about a friend of hers, who happens to be a lesbian woman, who converted to Catholicism many years ago, and has stuck with her Catholic faith, despite the challenges from official structures. Appropriate for St. Valentine’s Day, Nicole uses the metaphor of a love story to describe her friend’s relationship with the church, and she suggests that her friend’s faith is indicative of a new phase of Catholicism, emerging from the younger generation of our church:
“The prevailing attitude among many Catholics I meet is that young adults aren’t joining or staying Catholic, whatever ‘staying Catholic’ means to them.
“However, I have the privilege of meeting scores of young adults who are Catholic. No matter if they attend a parish on Sundays or keep prayer at home because they have been too wounded by church officials to attend Mass. They are still Catholic.
“I have often wondered what it is among my Catholic peers that causes them to stay. While they may have varying characteristics and personalities, I realize that one thing unites them all: They have a mature relationship not only with God, but with the church.
“They have gotten beyond the superficial courtship phase. They have made it past the seven-year itch. Most have even contemplated divorce at one time or another from the institutional church. But in the end, these young adults have a relationship with the church — the people of God — and one feels confident in remarking, ‘That’s a relationship that is going to last.’ “
Give yourself a treat this St. Valentine’s Day. Read the whole column here.