This picture of Alejandro Flores is a child's worst nightmare. And yes, that is a priest's collar he's wearing. He was ordained despite continued evidence that he had a fondness for young boys. The article in Sunday's (November 20) Chicago Tribune will make you ill when reading it.
After Mass Saturday, I picked up a copy of Catholic New World and read Cardinal George's article about this year being the Year of Teens and Young Adults in the Archdiocesan Strategic Pastoral Plan. The plan is to offer activities for teens and young adults on a monthly basis so they can be more involved as Catholics.
My husband and I always talk about the lack of young people sitting in the pews. We often wonder if anyone will be in church a generation from now.
I'm hopeful though. St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church has implemented a Mass on the first Saturday of the month, just for teens and young adults starting December 3. All ages are welcome, of course, but the idea is to have the young people doing the readings and participating in the Mass and then gather together afterward for fellowship.
The young people are the future of our church if we are to have a future at all. Young Catholics need to be encouraged by the community to come together and worship in a safe and healthy environment where they can grow spiritually and continue to help build the Catholic community.
Our Catholic leaders need to be vigilant in truly investigating these cases and those who fail to do anything should be reprimanded, not sent packing to a cushy position out of state.
Our young people need to know that the Alejandro Flores' are not part of the Church's future.