Young adult 'most progressive generation of Catholics'

by Thomas C. Fox

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MILWAUKEE -- Nicole Sotelo, Call to Action staff member and youth organizer, was also part of the CTA welcoming ceremony. Sotelo spoke about new initiatives the Catholic reform group was making to welcome young Catholic activists. She noted that surveys have shown that young Catholics are the most socially progressive-mind among Catholics today.

The following are Sotelo’s remarks.

Good evening. For more than a decade, Call To Action’s young adult program has served thousands of young Catholics who believe that justice is not a movement that stops at church doors, but one that must be welcomed and lived inside the church and its structures. Contrary to popular opinion, young adults are the most progressive generation of Catholics alive today.

In the late 1990s, a visionary group of young adults began what became known as Call To Action’s NextGeneration. And over the years, young adults from across the United States and beyond joined together in creating the largest progressive young adult Catholic program in the country! To celebrate this success and to better reflect the original vision of the program’s early leaders, the young adults worked together this summer to create a new name: Call To Action 20/30.

The name both honors the program’s years of accomplishments within Call To Action while reflecting the vital constituency of people in their 20s and 30s who make up this extraordinary community and are leaders throughout the Call To Action movement today.

Call To Action has been strengthened by the amazing strides of the young adult community—from local faithsharing groups to the first young adult progressive Catholic blog, from the way it has modeled democratic elections of its young adult leadership team to the way it inspired this year’s conference theme on generations and intergenerational equity.

This weekend, you may see signs or buttons around the conference center that read: CTA 20/30 What are you waiting for?

I can tell you that young adults are waiting for an end to systemic racism, which dismantles and distorts God’s diversity, and instead we are learning how our differences lift us up and allow us to better see the beauty of God.
We are waiting for an end to homophobia, when our Church no longer measures a marriage by one’s sexual orientation, but by healthy, loving relationships.

We are waiting for an end to sexism when when a priest will not be named according first to gender, but by the way we engender justice and minister to the suffering among us.

And we are not passively waiting, but working on these and other issues so that all might one day claim and live fully our baptismal promises of royalty, priest and prophet.

CTA 20/30 would like to ask you now: What are YOU waiting for? For what do you spend your nights dreaming? For what issue do you spend your days’ time and heartache and labor?

We invite you during this conference weekend to share what issue you are passionate about and to list your dream and your age on the cloth outside of the plenary hall doors. At the end of the weekend, this cloth will be used in our Sunday liturgy to represent the diversity of our dreams and the unity of our generations as we work side by side in building a church where every Sunday we might be able to profess, authentically, that we are a people of love, that we are a people of God.

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