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How Can We Minister More Effectively By Young Latino Catholics And Help Them Increase Their Participation

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How can we minister more effectively to young Latino Catholics and help them increase their participation in the Church? These are key questions that are frequently raised and that must be acknowledged and studied carefully as we consider the future of the Catholic Church as well as her numerical growth. If we bear in mind that 44% of all Catholics under the age of thirty in the U.S. are Hispanics (according to the 2013 Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults) it would certainly seem that increasing Hispanic teenagers ' participation in the Church would be beneficial not just for Hispanic families and communities, but also for the future Church in general. To effectively minister to Hispanic teenagers, an understanding of what is happening in their lives is crucial. Indeed, family plays a big part, but what we often neglect is how significantly culture impacts the life of an adolescent. Latino Catholics are currently the largest youth segment under eighteen. The available statistics suggest that many of these young U.S. Latino Catholics are children born of foreign born parents, while some Latino teenagers are themselves foreign born. Hence, these adolescents are constantly exposed to two differing cultures, requiring them to discover how to adequately navigate life while interacting with their culture of origin as well as U.S. mainstream culture. Certainly, this presents a major challenge for most teenagers given that these two cultures are dissimilar in their
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