Region Catholic Youth Closely Watch Pope Selection Process

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As the world waits for a new Pope to be selected… members of the College of Cardinals have agreed not to speak to the media. But Catholics around the world are talking about the process… including some young parishioners in Lake County. Sarah Holst reports on what some Catholic youth are looking for in the next Pope. ..

According to a 2010 report by the Association of Religion Data Archives, there are more than 60 Catholic congregations throughout Lake and Porter Counties with more than 130,000 parishioners. As the Region’s Catholics await the election of a new Pope… many are looking ahead to the future of the church.

Ross: “Initially I was a little frightened, but then I realized the Catholic Church has been around a long time, and nothing is gonna shake us away. It’s just a transition period.”

Michelle Ross is a youth minister at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Crown Point. She says she hopes the next Pope will be attentive to the needs of young Catholics.

Ross:  “In the Catholic Church, I feel, not enough attention is put on the youth. Youth ministry creates a strong foundation for the church and the future of the church.”

Adam Lesniak is a high school junior and an active member of St. James the Less Catholic Church in HIghland. He says electing a Pope who connects with young Catholics could be beneficial for the church.

Lesniak: ” The connection that Pope John Paul II had with the youth is incredible, and the new Pope needs that to make sure that the future of the church is in good hands.”

Lesniak says he does see some of his peers moving away from the church… but he believes the consistency of the teachings of the Catholic Church can also be comforting to young people.

Lesniak: ” If a teaching is inconvenient with the way they want to live their life, then they don’t like it. But teens in the church see it as a rock foundation, and they know that what they are doing is right.”

The parishioners we spoke with say the are excited to see a rare church event happening in their lifetime… but they are not concerned for the church’s future.



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