|About the Book|
A Noble Quest: Cultivating Spirituality in Catholic Adolescents addresses adolescent spirituality and explores and explains the various approaches and methods that can be successfully implemented to cultivate holistic Christian spirituality inMoreA Noble Quest: Cultivating Spirituality in Catholic Adolescents addresses adolescent spirituality and explores and explains the various approaches and methods that can be successfully implemented to cultivate holistic Christian spirituality in Catholic teenagers. The book is chalked full of practical examples and suggestions, ministry strategies, and pastoral activities that will engage the reader toward integrating them with their own teenage son or daughter, as well as in their parish. Although the book is written for those who work directly with young people--youth ministers, D.R.E. s, high school campus ministers, theology teachers, and coaches--the book is an excellent resource for anyone who stands by, for, and with young people: bishops, priests, deacons, lay ministers, parents, catechists, and volunteer youth leaders. The book will engage and encourage the reader on his/her own spiritual journey and can be enjoyed individually and used in small faith sharing church groups, as well. The book does not try to re-invent the wheel, but instead provides pragmatic ways for youth workers and parents to foster a richer and more meaningful interior life within young people. It utilizes the already fertile tradition of the Christian heritage to empower Catholic adolescents in their quest for becoming more spiritual. The bulk of the book is six chapters not including a brief forward, introduction, and conclusion, which all merit reading. The Forward is written by Dr. Robert J. McCarty, the Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (Washington, DC). He discusses the importance of adolescent spirituality to American teenage culture today and the impact that spirituality has upon Church as a whole. He ends with a set of ministry challenges for Catholic youth ministry in the United States. The book s Introduction, there are a couple of important questions asked, Why this book? What is Catholic adolescent spirituality? Both questions give a cursory answers to the question which moves the reader to dive deeper into the book and to discover the world of adolescent spirituality. The Conclusion highlights Catholic adolescent spirituality and offers pragmatic solutions and pastoral strategies for those who work with young people. The book also offers a few challenges to the U.S. Catholic Church, with respect to comprehensive youth ministry and being better at cultivating spirituality in Catholic teenagers. The book s first chapter is entitled Approaching Adolescents and is a laconic examination of the period of adolescence from a physiological, psychological, and sociological perspective. The chapter looks at adolescent identity, adolescent culture, and adolescent conversion. It offers insight about the the areas that are important for American adolescents today, such as teenage attitudes and behavior. The second chapter is entitled Defining, Describing, and Situating Catholic Adolescent Spirituality. It provides vital descriptions from various adolescent specialists concerning adolescent spirituality. This chapter highlights a number of definitions of adolescent spirituality and places adolescent spirituality in the context of the Catholic Church and comprehensive youth ministry. It also offers a few general methods for strengthening adolescent spirituality. The third chapter of the book is entitled Strengthening Eucharistic Spirituality in Catholic Adolescents and offers the readers 3 great ways to boaster spirituality in Catholic teenagers through the official liturgies of the Church. This being Sunday Eucharist (Mass), Liturgy of the Hours (structured daily prayer), and the Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharistic adoration). The chapter discusses the importance of engaging teenagers in prayer and the worship life of the Church. It presents pastoral strategies for each style of prayer that challenges pastors and youth ministers alike. In the fourth chapter, The Usefulness of 12 Pastoral Practices for Cultivating Spirituality in Catholic Adolescents, the 12 virtues, traits, disciplines, and practices that have empowered Christians on their quest for greater spiritual awareness are explored. Each of the 12 practices--Bible time, contemplation, honesty, introspection, journaling, meditation, music, prayer, retreats, Rosary, spiritual direction, and time usage--are tried and true and can help strengthen spirituality in Catholic young people. The fifth chapter, Three Appropriate Spiritual Practices for Cultivating Catholic Adolescent Spirituality, investigates 3 practices for people who work with youth may want to integrate to help Catholic juveniles become more spiritually attuned. The 3 spiritual practices--meditation, contemplation, and spiritual direction--are studied in-depth and concentrate on strategies and activities that help to foster an ardent sense of Christian spirituality. The sixth chapter, Strengths and Limitations of the Pastoral Practices of Cultivating Adolescent Spirituality in Catholic Youth Ministry Settings, explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of solely using a model for youth ministry that focuses primarily or exclusively on spiritual attainment or spiritual awareness. It is a introspective chapter about the realities of trying to cultivate and strengthen Christian spirituality in Catholic adolescents. There is also an extensive bibliography for the student of adolescent spirituality and youth ministry, as well as footnotes that entertain further insights and reflection. Finally, there are small group discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are intended to engage the reader personally, but also be be used in a group setting such as in a seminar, workshop, college classroom, or ministry setting. A Noble Quest: Cultivating Spirituality in Catholic Adolescents is an insightful and spiritual read. Being both theological and practical it challenges and exhorts Christian adolescent spirituality today. The book will find a home in academic and pastoral settings and will be in the mainstream of Catholic youth ministry and adolescent spirituality for years to come. A must read for any youth worker!