Author: Antonio Maza Pereda | Source: Catholic Communicators Network
Recently, knowing a church, I could see the baptism of a baby. The father and mother, perhaps just under 30, accompanied by a couple of dozens of boys of the same age, almost all married, and several with very young children. Some grandparents, a few brothers and some boyfriends. The priest, obviously happy, conveyed his joy to this small congregation.
I can not help but reflect on this phenomenon of the young people we call Millennials, who are reaching the age of having children. There is a lot of talk about, and criticism of this age group: that if they do not commit, that they are afraid of marriage and much more of the commitment that means raising some children. They are the second or third generation after the silent rebellion against the guidelines of the Church regarding birth control. Also the generation that has experienced the acceptance of abortion as something much more widespread.
But, nevertheless, there they are. Boys and girls happy, enjoying their paternity. Forming groups that go out together, have fun together, and that support each other in the thousand and one small crises of raising a baby.
Young moms who communicate through Facebook or other means of communication to share experiences, give support, help each other. Blogs dedicated to transmitting reliable information to moms and dads in medical aspects. Mutual aid groups in breastfeeding. In short, Millennials are finding new ways to help themselves in the joyous task of raising children.
I think there is another aspect. It has been said, with reasons, that Millennials are separated from the Church. Who perceive a lack of authenticity in those who say we believe in Catholicism. That the ceremonies, the rituals that have inspired many generations, no longer tell them anything. And I think that's the way it is. However, it is also clear that the fact that the arrival of a child could change that situation. The tenderness, the fragility of a new creature resonates in the heart of the father and the mother. And faced with a task that sometimes seems complex and difficult, many young couples are returning to the Church.
And not only for the baptism: in some parishes, in parallel to the preparation for the first communion, groups of parents are armed to receive also a catechism which, in many cases, they had not received since their first communion. This, of course, is nothing new. My Grandfather was a radically anticlerical man. So much so, that he refused to go to my Mother's wedding, for not being where there were priests. In such an environment, my Mother was educated without religion. My Father, however, insisted that the children be baptized and made their first communion. And my Mother, reviewing our catechism lessons, found the faith that rooted in her in a profound way.
Yes, babies evangelize their Parents. Maybe that's why this World does not like that there are babies in families. It is not only the limitation of the number of children, it is not only the diffusion of the advantages of families without parental responsibilities. A rejection of the children is perceived. Executed, unfortunately, in acts as terrible as abortion, child trafficking and pedophilia.
I am very happy to see these Millennial boys and girls enjoying their paternity. They are, like it or not, the future of the Church, the future of the Homeland. And what better foundation for that future than the happiness of their children and their relationships.
What can we do other generations to help them? Probably the most difficult, but indispensable, is to earn their trust. Show them our joy at seeing them happy, make them notice the love in the eyes of their babies when they see their father or their mother. Do not impose, do not point, do not criticize. Be congruent Do not insist on mistakes. Accompany them, says Pope Francis, with good reason.