Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm keeping my eye on Juventutem sites these days. For one, because I keep hoping to see (and promote) their schedule of Masses and speakers for the Australian incarnation of World Youth Day.

There is something about Juventutem that bears watching. I can't help but think Juventutem, as a movement of young Catholics attached to the tradition of the Church, not just liturgically, but also doctrinally and morally, sets an extremely important witness, and also has an important role as a kind of evangelical witness. It's the kind of witness that can be very contagious.

In fact, here is what one Bishop said of Juventutem:

"Juventutem is part of the Catholic revival launched by Pope John Paul II and so strongly encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI. This is a renewal that leads to recovery of the Tradition that makes God's Word contemporary, that encourages celebration of the liturgy in its integrity as sacrifice and communion, and that makes possible a reappropriation of the Catholic culture that incarnates the Church in the world.

"Juventutem gives young Catholics an opportunity to do their part in fostering continuity of the truth and the gifts of Christ in his Mystical Body so that the beauty of the Church may irradiate the lives of Catholic believers."
-- The Most Reverend Basil Meeking, Bishop Emeritus of Christchurch, New Zealand

I have a sense that Juventutem is yet in its infancy. It has great potential, particularly if it can be developed into a youth-classical-rite movement that goes well beyond World Youth Day. To some extent that is happening, as it is my understanding that there is a Juventutem presence at the upcoming Chartres pilgrimage.

Still, I could see even more developing from it. Basically the equivalent of a kind of "Newman club" but for youth attached to the traditional Western liturgical rites, Roman or otherwise. It may manifest itself by means of local advocacy and promotion of such rites; study groups; prayer groups; it could be involved or organize local and national pilgrimages and "liturgical days".

The possibilities are legion, but in short, it could be one of the most vibrant witnesses and faces for those attached to the tradition of the Church.

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