.- Speaking to young people gathered for a monthly coffeehouse at a St. Louis-area parish last weekend, Archbishop Raymond Burke said that today’s young people need to be on the forefront of the Church’s “New Evangelization” and call to transform the culture.
According to the St. Louis Review, the Archbishop told the youth that "There is among you a tremendous thirst to know more deeply the Gospel, the Church and to experience (Christ’s) presence in the Church."
He lamented that modern culture has become "completely secularized," and told the audience: "you have so much to contribute to the transformation of the Church and society."
Recalling the late Pope John Paul II, who began calling young people to his vision of a New Evangelization, Archbishop Burke said “We are called to live our faith with a new enthusiasm and new energy."
John Paul, he noted called us "to recover the enthusiasm and energy of the first Christians."
The Archbishop said that after his 1975 ordination, he noticed a failure of catechetics in the Church--especially among young Catholics.
"I think we failed in those years to do an effective catechesis,” he said. "Children didn’t know their prayers."
But, Archbishop Burke said to the young people, "it’s your generation above all that tells me you want to know the missing pieces. You have the enthusiasm and energy." The way to evangelize today’s culture, he said, is through "Jesus Christ Himself."
"The difficulty with a lot of programs”, he continued, “is they lead us to think the renewal of the Church is in some kind of formula, activity or event."
But, he said, echoing the late John Paul, "we shall not be saved by a formula, but by a person."
Courtney White, one of the attendees, told the Review after the presentation:
"It’s so exciting that we have an archbishop who is so full of life and faith"
"The cornerstone (of faith)”, she said, “has to be our relationship with Christ — and highlighted with the Eucharist."