Pre-Assembly 2018

It was a dynamic day exploring the often surprising data about why and when young Catholics are leaving the Church. Gain new insights into why young Catholics are leaving - and when they start thinking about it. We heard them in their own words, challenging what we think we know and learn what this means for ministry.

This workshop set the framework for our National Assembly, Youth and Religious Leadership Together: Discerning in Missionary Discipleship.

Schedule (download PDF)


Bob McCarty, D.Min.

Elizabeth Drescher, Ph.D.

Josh Packard, Ph.D.

John Vitek, M.A.


From St. Mary's Press

The two-year national study, done in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, examines why young people are leaving the Catholic Church and shares their reasons in their own voices.

The report reveals that disaffiliation is a process that happens over time, typically prompted by a series of events or unresolved questions. Of those surveyed, 35 percent identified as having no religious affiliation, nine percent said they are some other non-Protestant Christian affiliation, 14 percent identified as an atheist or agnostic, and fewer than one in ten of the remaining responded with some other religious affiliation. When asked at what age they no longer identified themselves as Catholic, 74 percent of the sample said between the ages of 10 and 20, with the median age being 13 years old. Read more from St. Mary's Press(Google Maps and some GPS systems default the address to read "W Port Plaza Dr.")