Close to four-hundred lay ministers, parish staff, and students arrived on November 9 to Sacred Heart Major Seminary to participate in the annual speaker series for lay ministry In the Heart of The Church.
The enthusiastic crowd, comprised of faithful from the Archdiocese of Detroit and neighboring dioceses, turned out to hear keynote speaker, Fr. Michael Schmitz, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and chaplain at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Fr. Mike is also known for his “digital ministry” that features engaging videos widely viewed online.
Father Mike’s talk, “Evangelizing Millennials,” focused on how the Catholic Church can better understand and communicate with youth born between the early-to-mid 1980s and early 2000s. “Successfully delivering the church’s message to them will require a substantially different approach than that used to reach youth just one generation earlier,” said Father Mike.
“[Generation X] was marked by a certain rebellion against their parents,” Father Mike said, adding he and other youth ministers have found exactly the opposite in Generation Y. Millennials, according to him, are now being raised by members of Generation X who have grown up to rear their children in a manner that counterpoints their own upbringing, which was often marked by a more removed, arguably less available, parenting style.