HOPE! Hope is what this world needs now. Hope is what the Catholic Church has needed for a long time. For several decades, the Catholic Church has been infiltrated and infected by an influx of liberalism, modernism, hedonism, and New Age mumbo jumbo. (We have a more in depth treatment of the problems of the Church in our video “Catholic Crisis.” Or, Click Here to read more about the history of where the corruption and problems came from in the first place.)
For decades, there has been poor priestly formation, priestly infiltration, religious theologians who serve the enemy instead of God and who have not been faithful to their own religion or Christ. Consequently, this has led to the laity not being fed, abysmal seminary formation, poor catechesis at the end of the 20th century, and more. We are still feeling the repercussions today.
This is one of the worst crises that the Church has faced in centuries. However, not all is bad! There are many signs of hope as well. It would be wrong to merely stay in a place where we whine and complain and gripe about all of the problems and not do anything about it. One cannot sit around like the Pharisees and just self-righteously judge people, complain about priests, condemn bishops, and proclaim that the world is coming to an end.
There are many signs of hope, life, and renewal taking place in our Church. Reform is happening! Catholics are rising up. Many good things are occurring, some of which we will mention here.
As one example, I graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Franciscan University alone (not to mention schools like Christendom or University of Dallas) are mass producing faithful and well-formed Catholic leaders who are completely orthodox and faithful to Holy Mother Church. These top-notch leaders are populating parishes, programs, and retreat houses across our country, and in many cases, are replacing their unfaithful or lukewarm predecessors. The importance of this cannot be understated.
Another sign of hope comes from this same College. The “Steubenville Summer Conferences” launched more than 20 years ago, and since this time, these conferences have changed the lives of tens of thousands of Catholic young people and have produced many vocations.
These weekend-long retreats saw 2,500 teenagers attend different conferences throughout the summer. Due to their popularity and success in transforming lives, Franciscan University had an overflow of teens that there was no room for. Thus, they were forced to turn many teenagers away. This led to the formation of Steubenville conferences in four additional states, where 2,500 teens came for two separate retreat weekends in the summer. That is 5,000 teens multiplied by four different locations each year.
The Holy Spirit continued to move and to work, and it wasn’t very long before another four conferences sprouted up in different states. Now, these conferences take place in 21 different states and in Canada. 21 states! Hundreds of thousands of teens are being taught, formed, catechized, and inspired in their faith. The fire of the Holy Spirit blazes through these conferences and teens are truly transformed.
At the end of the weekend in every location, every conference asks the boys and girls how many of them would consider becoming a priest or a nun. Always and without fail, hundreds and hundreds of boys and girls stand up from their seats in front of their peers while a deafening and thunderous applause takes place. Hundreds of teens at every location are rising up to consider priesthood and religious life!!!
There would be no shortage of priests and nuns if we deliver the faith and train our youth in a manner that works and is not watered down. The priestly shortage we have long struggled with is really a lack of faith and zeal, and not passing on the faith to our children in a real way. Is it a wonder that some parishes do not have good (or any) youth ministry programs and will not consider the crucial importance of investing in their youth? It is no surprise that many of our priests have their priorities all wrong. Again, it comes back to a crisis of faith, which has unfortunately been from the top down often times.
Our youth, who are the future generations of the Church, are being trained and raised up in other ways outside the parish sadly. This does not just occur at elite conferences like Steubenville, but in other places around the country as well, ensuring the future of our Church.
Another example may be found at a premiere, week-long, Catholic summer camp called, Camp Veritas. This camp started with just 50 kids between 7th and 12th grade. Since then, it has exploded to over 1,700 teenagers in five different locations and continues to grow rapidly.
Ireland was one of the most Catholic countries in the world but has subsequently become one of the most pitiable Catholic countries where the faith has been almost obliterated. For this reason, Camp Veritas forged a camp in Ireland with 50 kids, and it has been growing exponentially ever since, forming and inspiring the Irish solidly in the Catholic faith!
Apart from the go-karts, rock climbing walls, lakes, and sports, this camp trains and raises up Catholic youth with an immersion program of faith. For one week, teens are well-catechized. They attend daily Mass, pray the Rosary, go to evening Adoration, and play sports with faithful priests and religious sisters. Youth camps and retreats of all kinds are sprouting up in our country, and this is great news! .
Perhaps from the top down in our Church everything seems broken and backwards. However, from the bottom up, many great signs of renewal are occurring. Many orthodox and on fire grassroots organizations across the USA are forming people in Christ and the Catholic faith.
Our organization, Catholic Truth, began only about a year and a half ago. This is one such grassroots organization. We went from reaching 50,000 people to reaching 500,000 people in one year – a half a million Catholics and non-Catholics, young and old, all being evangelized, formed, and set on fire. Our goal is to reach Catholics on a mass scale to help them know, love, and live their Catholic faith, to discover it, deepen it, and defend it with purpose and passion.
Other grassroots organizations like Catholic Answers, Ascension Press, EWTN, St. Joseph’s Communications, Ignatius Press, Dynamic Catholic, Priests For Life, and many others are doing great work and are replacing the generations of faulty and broken organizations that failed us and were not faithfully Catholic.
In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, many heterodox and dissident organizations, priests, religious sisters, theologians, media outlets, publishing companies, and seminaries were not in line with the Catholic Church, and were producing media and literature that was unfaithful, and in some cases, not Catholic and not from God.
Thank God that these are now, in large part, being replaced by faithful Catholic mass media outlets, internet media evangelization, book publishing companies, and organizations that are all authentically Catholic and are helping to renew and reform our Church with the truth of Jesus Christ. Praise God!
Even our Catholic schools in this country are being reformed. Whereas Catholic schools were known to be of the greatest in the world, they too were hijacked and compromised, and subsequently imploded due to these problems. However, I personally have seen first-hand Catholic schools in Connecticut (the state where Catholic Truth resides) turn from places that were infested with heresy and where atheists could be found teaching religion classes, to schools that now teach proper doctrines and are faithful to our Holy Mother Church.
One last example of many are the countless nuns and religious orders of sisters who were hijacked by extreme feminism. Sadly, some orders of religious sisters became one of the biggest problems in the Catholic Church who helped to undermine the faith and erode the foundations of the Church.
Those generations did not wear religious habits (robes), were often not faithful to Catholic doctrine or tradition, and are now consequently dying out. They are being supplanted by new, vibrant, faith-filled religious orders of Sisters (like the Dominicans, the Sisters of Life, the Sisters of Charity, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, and so on) who are booming with young vocations and are beginning to take over the country by storm with a true, authentic Catholic faith and not the counterfeit.
Look up the CFR Sisters or the Sisters of Life online, for example. One will immediately notice that they are happy and full of joy and love. Unlike the mean and sometimes nasty nuns of old, these Sisters radiate Jesus Christ, His love, and a faithfulness to His Church. In addition, seminaries were one of the biggest problems for the Church and now have largely been reformed as well. They are cranking out far better priests than decades ago.
This is all renewal in the making. If we miss these signs of renewal, we may be led to despair, but make no mistake, the Catholic Church is being renewed from the ground up. These are all signs of hope.
There is a lot more work to do in our Church, but there is a lot of good taking place that cannot be overlooked. Many signs of hope are happening for the Catholic Church that most people do not see unless they are made aware of it. It does not happen overnight. It takes time, prayer, fasting, an unbreakable determination, and perseverance. All for Christ! All for His kingdom.
Are you going to join this revolution to take back our Church from the people who hijacked it? How are you going to make a difference in the world and in the Church? How can we be better, more faithful Catholics?
It all starts with us! We can pray a lot more each day, study and learn more, attend retreats more, read the Bible more, and go to adoration more frequently. This is the recipe of reform and renewal. The more Catholics do these things, the more our Church will grow and flourish as it should.
Jesus warned us that there would be evil people in the Church, so we should not be surprised. The Bible warns about wolves in sheep’s clothing, even in the hierarchy. No matter how many false and fake Catholics in disguise there are, no matter how drastically the powers of Hell attack our Church from the inside out, Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus Himself promised to be with us to the end of the world, and He promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail!
This is good news! The Catholic Church has existed for 2,000 years and has outlasted every organization on planet earth, and it has weathered all storms, persecutions, torture and death, corruption, and many other things that have sought to destroy Her.
If you would like to see how the Catholic Church overcame persecution and death to change the world, check out our video on the inspirational story of the Catholic Church HERE.
Remember, Jesus wins in the end, and His Church is not going anywhere! Please share this article and keep the hope going!