Restoring Christian Culture: The Mission of Young Catholics

Most people born in the late nineties and into the two-thousands have lived their childhoods and adolescent years deeply immersed in the secularist, technocratic culture of our age. In fact, whether we realize it or not, many of us have received more of our human formation from television screens, Apple products, social media feeds, and YouTube subscriptions than any other influences in our lives. Most of our parents sent us off to spend seven-hour days in schools where we were influenced even further by the tendencies and ideologies of the modern culture. However, more and more young Catholics are waking up from their technology-induced slumber.

Scales are falling off eyes blinded by filth, and wax is being removed from ears deafened by endless noise. Minds and hearts are being stirred by the light of the reality that we’ve failed to see from behind our phone screens. Young Catholic adults are growing sick of their virtual realities; we long for true Reality. Understanding what is at stake for the Church and for the world if no action is taken, young Catholics are rallying together, in ever-increasing pockets, to counter the effects of the secular culture in their own lives as well as in the lives of their families.

During my time at Ave Maria University as well as at different Catholic events, I have encountered more and more young people who are seeking to break the generational cycle of secularist living. Very unsatisfied with their own upbringings, young Catholics are seeking ways to re-form their minds and hearts in the pursuit of authentic Truth and charity.

This pursuit takes on many different forms. One example is the practice of listening to the classical music of the great composers more often than the pop and rap characteristic of the modern age. Others are completely doing away with their Apple products so as to rid themselves of any distractions from the people in front of them. If this is not possible, there are many others who are completely “grayscaling” (making the entire screen display gray rather than colors) all devices in order to avoid the addiction-causing dopamine releases that screens are known to cause. It has also become more common among young Catholics to learn a trade and work with the hands, which allows for real experience of the extramental realities.

Perhaps the greatest example of all, however, is the new homesteading trend that is taking the Church by storm, especially among Catholic young people in the United States. Catholics are getting married young again, beginning families even with meager resources, and choosing to cultivate land and learn new skills. There are increasing efforts to bring the family and education back into its proper place: the Catholic home. It is more than evident that we are no longer willing to sit complacent in the muddy waters of this atheistic, relativistic age. No, the hearts of young Catholics are increasingly stamped with what I believe to be a Providential mission in the course of Church history: leave behind virtual realities in order to restore the Christian culture.

What exactly is a Christian culture, some may ask? Well, unfortunately, a history of Christendom needs to be consulted in order for most anyone today to be able to answer this question. None of us have really lived in a Christian culture—at least if we’re Americans. But, nonetheless, the histories are there, and they are rather dreamy to a young Catholic mind. We long for the days when processions through public squares were ordinary, when even non-Catholic businesses closed on Sundays and important feast days. We long to see a day when the natural law and the divine law are the only true sources of civil law and when immorality is again considered to be immoral. In a word, a Christian culture is one in which Christ is King, and it is felt.

Some may look at the modern world and believe our chances bleak. It often seems as though the culture is too far gone. Yet, young Catholics everywhere are outwardly expressing the exact opposite. We believe that we can take back our lives in order to make them human again. We’re preparing ourselves to give our children a truly human, Christian upbringing one day. We feel ourselves deeply participating in what Chesterton called “the democracy of the dead,” in which we understand that we have a duty and an obligation, as members of the Body of Christ, to provide future generations of Catholics with a culture much better than the anti-Christian one in which we were brought up and currently live in.

In prayer and penance, we resolve to “escape the cave” (to use a Platonic metaphor) and restore the culture to Christ the King.

Photo by Aaron Birch on Unsplash

Avatar photo


Matthew Uzdavinis, originally from Tampa, Florida, is a graduate of Ave Maria University with a B.A. in Philosophy. Before his time at Ave Maria, he attended Jesuit High School of Tampa, where he first encountered the splendor of Truth and the beauty of Catholic tradition, especially the traditional Liturgy. He enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and writing on edifying topics.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage