At the invitation of Mrs. Anne Nichols P'12 I was invited to speak to the woman's group at St. Catherine's Parish in Manchester last evening. Before the dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were kind enough to take me to dinner at the Puritan. There were about 15 women at the meeting and I spoke about the challenges any campus minister, priest, youth minister, etc. faces today. I spoke of the fact that fewer and fewer people are raised in the faith or don't have much knowledge of the faith. I cited a recent study that said 32% of people under the age of 30 do not belong to any faith in the United States. New Hampshire is also the second least religious state in the county (thank goodness for Vermont!).
I then talked about the various ways we try to reach our students and how in many respects we are like a parish to some of them as they will never join a parish or have an active faith life outside of school. I listed many of the events we do and how we have to be creative and meet the kids where they are in life. Food and dress down days are a great motivator I said.
It was a pleasant evening and a nice opportunity to share a little about our work here. The women were beyond gracious and I am grateful to Mrs. Nichols for inviting me.