From a reader…
Father have you seen this recent Pew poll on how we as Catholics view the Eucharist? I’m a Youth Minister @ my Church. I can do talks till I’m blue in the face, but feel I don’t have the Magestrium has my back. What to do?
First, I have great sympathy for you. You clearly want to do the right thing, help other young people to learn and live the Faith.
Firstly, you have to learn a lot. Know the Magisterium (note the spelling) of Popes. Also, the teachings of Popes are founded on fundamentals. You have to know well the fundamentals of the Faith. I suggest getting copies of the different levels of the Baltimore Catechism, which is clear and practical.
What I think you are saying with you don’t think that the “Magisterium” has your back is that you don’t think that the pastor, bishop, bishops, Pope have your back. You sense that you should be heading this way but they are going that way. You might worry that you will teach one thing and then Father will say something contradictory from the pulpit.
This is when your preparation is so very important. If this is important for every Catholic today, it is that much more important if you are in a position where you are forming people. That’s aimed at parents, too.
If you don’t think pastors, the “Magisterium”, have your back, then make sure that you have the Magisterium at your fingertips. “Always be ready to give reasons…”.
Know your Faith. Spending time in Scripture and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. When you hear something that isn’t right, or that is iffy, ask about it. But be ready to clarify things if questions come up.
If there were some particular thing to focus on right now, take your cue from the Pew research and get up to speed on the Eucharist, both the doctrine about it and all that has to do with its celebration. That means liturgy as well.
The Eucharist is described as the reality from whence everything we are as Catholics flows and back to which all that we are and do must be returned. It is fons et culmen… source and summit. Things come from sources and they flow back down from summits. Make this a regular part of all that you present: basic teaching about the Eucharist.
Persevere and GO TO CONFESSION.