A “Ferris wheel of faith.”
A shaggy-haired DJ wearing a “Got God?” T-shirt – a spoof of the popular milk ads – while introducing a group of stomp dancers.
This was not your traditional Catholic Church.
Nor was it supposed to be.
Youth Day at Navy Pier, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago, was planned specifically to appeal to teens – a group with waning interest Catholic leaders acknowledge they are trying to court.
The rest of the article goes on with some interviewed teens (from Catholic High Schools) who whine about the Mass not being more contemporary and that the church is too traditional and needs to do something to infuse enthusiasm.
This is an approach that has been done by many Protestant Churches. Driving around town I see signs that advertise “Contemporary Worship Services” on the front lawns of churches. Normally they might initially draw interest and start to grow, but judging just by parking lots the attendance eventually fades. Making a church and it’s services not really any different from the society around it leads to question, if the church and the society are the same then, why go to church? Using gimmicks to draw people to the Christian life I believe will result in what happens in the parable of the sower; that soon these people will be choked on weeds and fall away.
After Pentecost the miracle that occurred was that each person hearing the Apostles preach, heard it in their own language. The miracle was not that each person heard the worship music that they preferred. I have been know also to whine from time to time about the music during Mass, but it has absolutely no effect on my going to Mass on Sundays.
When Catholic High Schools students complain about needing something to give them enthusiasm, I would offer one word “Eucharist.” Jesus is sacramentally present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity whether there is Gregorian Chant or a OCP/GIA special. Whether everyone sang along, or no one did. Whether the homily taught the faith or just droned on. Whether the church was in a traditional style or it’s interior looked like wall-to-wall white refrigerators with nary a magnet to decorate it.