Episode 5: Faith & Spirituality – A Millennials Perspective

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Episode 5: Faith & Spirituality – A Millennials Perspective


July 10, 2019
Duration: 00:38:19
Guests: Amy Brandt; Amanda Saunders; Sam Hardwick



Listen to “Faith & Spirituality: A Millennial’s Perspective” on Spreaker.

Episode Description In this episode of Following Francis, Chris Dwyer is joined by three young professionals who provide insight into their generation’s thoughts on faith and spirituality. Among other topics, these millennials will dive into why their generation doesn’t want to be identified with one particular religious order, the effects of social media on faith and spirituality, and why women should be a part of the Catholic Church.

“I would describe it as spiritually curious. They have a part of them that desires something greater, some type of connection with their surroundings and with others on a deeper level.” – Amy Brandt


Chris Dwyer [00:00] Welcome to Following Francis. This is a special media project produced by the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land here in Washington DC. I’m Christopher Dwyer, your host. Today we have with us three special guests who were all young professionals and they participated in a focus group that the friars held a little more than a month ago. The idea behind the focus group was to give the friars some insight into the faith and spirituality of the younger generation now entering the church, those in their twenties and thirties. And that focus group was designed to be completely anonymous so that it was a no holds barred conversation between, we had six females and six males, who were talking about the church, their practice within the church. All were raised, 100% of the group was raised as Catholic, but only a third of them now have what they would consider a strong connection and a strong faith life. Another third was, faith was an aspect of their life, but not necessarily important. And then the final third of the group was a group that had fallen away from the church and they were non-practicing. So they all provided insight into their spirituality and the way that they practice spirituality, whether it’s inside or outside the church. And so today I’m really pleased to have three of those folks with us. We have Amy Brandt, Amanda Saunders, and Sam Hardwick, and they were key participants in this group. So welcome. Thank you for coming today.

Amanda Saunders [01:47] Thanks for having us.

Sam Hardwick [01:48] Yeah, it’s going to be great.

Chris Dwyer [01:50] So the friars found this focus group to be really interesting in the outcome of that day with all the information that you folks provided. It was very important to them and certainly when they’re planning future activities and services around here at the monastery, your input is extremely helpful. They thought it was so important of what you folks said that day that we should share it also with our audience here on Following Francis. So I’m so pleased that you were able to come by and join us today. As you might remember that day I opened up with a question related to a recent study. There’s a study that says that 41 countries around the globe are reporting that young adults don’t want to be identified with a particular religious group or at least one religious group. Is there a reason why your generation, your peers don’t want to be identified with one particular group?

Sam Hardwick [02:54] I think one of the big things that impacts our generation is access to information that we have, which is unlike any other generation. We are able to learn about the spiritualities of so many different religions that ascribing to just one or identifying with just one is hard when there’s so many other ones that are out there.

Chris Dwyer [03:18] You had mentioned an acronym for me it’s FOMO?

Sam Hardwick [03:21] FOMO.

Chris Dwyer [03:21] Yes, exactly. Which stands for?

Sam Hardwick [03:26] Fear of missing out.

Chris Dwyer [03:27] Right.

Sam Hardwick [03:27] Yeah.

Chris Dwyer [03:28] So is that part of this?

Sam Hardwick [03:30] Absolutely. Yeah.

Chris Dwyer [03:31] Process here that folks are going through when they’re looking at these various religions?

Amanda Saunders [03:35] Yes. I think there’s a fear of being labeled and set into a box that they feel like they can’t get out of. I also think there’s this kind of feeling of “I don’t want to be told what to do.” I’m in charge of my own body, my own mind, my own spirituality. I don’t want to have to conform to whatever the institution is. I don’t want to have to follow those rules. I don’t want to be told what to do. And that’s enforced by the social media, by the information that we have. The grass is always greener when we’re looking at Instagram or reading an article, we’re only seeing a small chunk of something and I think that has a lot to do with how we interpret spirituality and religion.

Chris Dwyer [04:26] Amy, are you seeing your peers actually experimenting in different faith groups? Are they going out to different organizations to see what might be in their mind better?

Amy Brandt [04:39] A little bit. I definitely see people wanting to learn more about different religions, different services, different practices. I think there’s this idea that people want to kind of take the best parts of each of them and apply it to themselves without committing to the identity of one specific group. Because identifying with a group or a religion encompasses both the negative and the positive parts where I think a lot of my peers and myself just have this fear of being put in that box of taking in both the positive and negatives where there’s a lot of great things that come from religion, from different services that, especially I think at least my peers are really drawn to the social justice side and the activist side of faith, but aren’t necessarily drawn towards the tradition and the rules.

Chris Dwyer [05:34] So do you find your peers highly spiritual or?

Amy Brandt [05:40] I would describe it as spiritually curious. They have a part of them that desires something greater, some type of connection with their surroundings and with others on a deeper level than just their job or whatnot. So, but I don’t think they are necessarily religiously inclined, if that makes sense.

Chris Dwyer [06:04] It does make sense because even the day of the focus group, the group, it was a consensus, that religion being so rigid doesn’t move the spirit. And I think that was a negative towards organized religion, the institutional religious entities that are out there. And so the fact that it doesn’t touch the soul, it led folks to wanting to explore other opportunities. And I, that’s what you’re referring to there, Amy. So when they’re picking these other ideas and looking at these other opportunities, are there particular tools, practices that they find generally you see among your peers as part of their faith building exercises? Are they, you know, meditating, are they doing the labyrinths and such?

Amy Brandt [06:58] From what I’ve seen in the people that I’ve surrounded myself with, people are looking for relationships and they’re looking for experiences, not necessarily independent prayer resources or spiritual practices where they go somewhere alone or at their own house to practice and experiment with faith. They’re more looking for that sense of community and support. I think that’s something we lack as a generation is just like rootedness and support from one another as it’s really hard to go below surface level and conversations without being afraid of offending one another or overstepping a boundary. So I think there’s this yearning for something deeper and I think that’s kind of what’s motivating these searching for different spiritualities and I think it’s very experienced centered and if they have a negative experience, we have no hesitation to drop it and find something new instead of sticking with it.

Chris Dwyer [07:59] And in fact I find it fascinating in a number of my generation, a much older generation, has noticed that your, we’ll say the 20 and 30 year old group, liked to form groups. They want to have those social groups. But it’s interesting cause you described the search for your own religious experience to be very individualistic. You’re each picking and choosing what fits you individually, but you want that social aspect. And there’s a bit for us as older folks looking in, there’s a bit of a contradiction and help us understand how both can exist at the same time, if it’s even explainable.

Amy Brandt [08:40] I think it’s, it would be possible if spaces for vulnerability are created and where the people participating feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with another without the expectation that everyone is going be on this same journey looking for the same things, but just creating that space for people to share about their struggles and ask for support from one another, whether it’s to pray with them or just talk through personal experiences or walk with each other in the future. Just creating that space where it is comfortable and allowed to do that without judgment.

Chris Dwyer [09:16] Sam, are you finding that for guys as well?

Sam Hardwick [09:19] I think individuals are looking for other individuals to form community with. They don’t want to just join an already formed community. They want the community that accepts them as an individual and not just because they are entering into the community. You know, they don’t, I don’t, I haven’t found anyone who’s looking just to join a community without having overlapping, you know, points of view. And I think there’s something to be said too about finding the communities that people are looking for in their work. You know, that I have seen many of my friends who are able to find the community or enough community at work that they don’t need any community outside of it. And you’ll see a lot of companies are encouraging that, you know, they want their employees to form a culture to form a community that is enticing for more people to come into, but also will keep them there. And because they are, I think in the past a company wasn’t like that at all. You know, when did you ever go to a company and you would have, you know, all these different outings, company outings together to form, you know, more bonds and all these different team building exercises to bring people together more in the company. I think individuals are finding what they need at their companies for sure.

Amanda Saunders [10:45] But do you think that’s because our family culture has changed? Do you think it’s because, I’m asking it because I think that was a really interesting point that you brought up that our work culture is changing, but I’m wondering if that’s changing because so much of our culture is geared towards working, like so much of how we spend our time, of what we think is important, of how we value one another is based on what we do for work. And I’m wondering if companies are feeding into that because it’s better for the employees to some extent, but it also is creating a better product for them in the long run. But I wonder if it’s because in our homes, and this obviously isn’t applicable to everyone, but our families have changed. It looks different when we would go out to eat, I see constantly families out to eat and all their kids are on their phones or on watching TV on their iPads when they’re out to dinner. And so I wonder if the millennials in particular that grew up at right at the cusp of that technology, when all that was coming out, I wonder if like we are searching those things at the place that we spend most of our time.

Chris Dwyer [11:56] Well, sadly Amy or Amanda, sorry, when I see them at restaurants, mom and dad are also on their cell phone.

Amanda Saunders [12:03] You’re right.

Chris Dwyer [12:04] So if they’re looking for that family life, it’s certainly not going to be around that table where everybody’s on a cell phone. So that support, that goes back to that idea of the workplace is becoming part of your family support. Then on the weekends when you get to that Sunday, are you so tired and burned out from the week that adding another social component that Sunday morning mass and that other family, which really the church represents, are you just too tired to then engage in that group?

Amanda Saunders [12:40] I don’t even know if it’s necessarily a social tiredness at that point. I think it comes back to it’s an obligation. It’s something that I’m required to do, to be in good standing of the church. I have to go to church in order to fulfill my obligation as being a Catholic or Christian or whatever the identification is. And I don’t want to be told that I have to do something. I think a lot of people would choose like brunch sounds like a much better option than maybe sitting at an hour plus mass and so I don’t necessarily know if it’s a social tiredness or if it’s one is an obligation and one is an option.

Chris Dwyer [13:22] And Sam, you had informed me after the last, after the focus group that when somebody gives advice to your generation, they are afraid to not follow through or don’t want to disappoint that person who offered that advice. So it’s also these rules, this church setting up an expectation for you that if you fail, now you’ve really failed. It’s a big failure.

Chris Dwyer
[13:53] Being told what to do without an explanation why, you know, just because the church knows what’s best. But are they telling you why they know best? You know, what, why should someone growing up just believe something that’s being told to them without being explained why, you know, and our generation is so skeptical. We’re so skeptical of everything without an explanation.

Chris Dwyer [14:14] Is that how you grew up though, when you were, did your parents impose rules and then your first question is why? Even when I grew up, that’s what we would do to our parents.

Sam Hardwick [14:25] Yeah.

Chris Dwyer [14:26] So you know why, you want the rationale behind that rule, that directive. So obviously the church could help itself by informing the younger generation as to what the background of this is, of these rules, Amanda, you’re looking like, maybe that’s not the answer.

Amanda Saunders [14:48] I definitely think the why is important. I think explaining tradition is important. Specifically with younger, my experiences with younger people in the ranges of like 14 to 18, even just regular discipline needs to be explained. Like, why do I have to follow this rule? Well, here’s the three reasons why you have to follow these rules for safety, for this, for that. And as soon as it’s laid out, they’re like, okay, that makes sense to me. So I think that that’s important. The reason why I made the face that I made is because I think specifically talking, speaking about within the Catholic Church, I think it’s really hard for people to look at a set of rules and be like, okay, I’m going to follow this when a lot of the leaders in the church don’t follow those same rules, or not a lot of the leaders in the church, but there are people that institutionally and systemically within the church there has been serious breakdown and I think it’s really difficult for people to look at these, this is our moral code, these are the things that we’re going to follow when the people at the top down are not following them. And we’re split by isles too. Like politically, there’s people on one end and people on the other. And I think with certain lifestyle choices, we’re on two different ends. And I think it’s really hard for people to, to follow through with these rules when they’re seeing leaders at the top go two separate ways. And I think that’s really tough.

Sam Hardwick [16:24] I think that’s pointing to a larger problem as well, that we are seeing. It’s so easy for us to see other people doing other stuff that is contrary to what we’re being told to do and they’re fine or they seem to be fine. And it’s like, well, if they’re able to do this and be fine, right, why can’t I? And you know, and so you’re, and that’s kind of getting to the social media aspect as well and the media aspect in general, that we’re so able to see the lives of others now. And when you see the life of somebody else doing something that you kind of want to do and they seem to be doing all right in that direction, then why wouldn’t you, you know, follow that.

Chris Dwyer [17:04] And the group came out with that. I mean they mentioned multiple times that social media affirmed their decisions and that gave them permission to continue in that direction. Even if it’s contrary to the church, if they saw a number of their friends were heading in one direction, even if it was different from what the church would advise, they felt it was validated. And yes, I can continue to do what I think is right. Would you say that that’s part of social media and the church?

Sam Hardwick [17:34] Yes. I think it comes to the bigger media though as well. I think social media for sure affirms decisions or you know, when you post something that the church might not necessarily agree with but you’re getting a of likes or you know, comments of within the affirmative direction than you feel, you know, affirmed in your decision. But, seeing all the, you know, the different media outlets that come out with all these celebrities stuff and with all these different scandals that are occurring and you’re like, whoa, why should I be following, you know, these people who are doing something completely contrary to what they’re saying to begin with. You know?

Chris Dwyer [18:16] And that’s what Amanda was suggesting, that the society, secular society is certainly at odds with some of the church teaching. And in fact the group reported that the church was lagging behind. Is that a consensus among your peers?

Amy Brandt [18:33] I think the church is lagging behind on that explanation or just making it relatable why the rules are in place, but when it comes to social media, not only are the lifestyles that differ from what the church is telling us, not only are those affirming us, but a lot of the faith media sources are like when I follow Catholic individuals on Instagram or whatnot, they’re still just posting the positive things. So in the media, we’ll only see the positive things people post or the really negative bad stuff. We don’t see the beauty in the struggle and a lot of faith, in my experience, has been suffering and finding beauty in that and finding lessons out of that, which is just so counter cultural to share that side of it, where initially it is when you are faced with suffering and when you are within the church you’re like, this isn’t very fun, my friends are posting things like, and they’re doing great, so I’m going to do what they’re doing instead of sticking with this. And then when you see yourself to suffering in the faith and you go on Instagram and you see all these Catholic people posting of like the faith has been so sustaining, so fulfilling, you’re like, all right, I’m doing something wrong because this doesn’t match that experience. So I think there’s just this gap in what we’re viewing in the media of like we’re either seeing the really bad stuff and that’s deterring us or we’re seeing the really good stuff of different lifestyles that aren’t necessarily healthy for us. So we’re just missing that piece that is saying that the suffering or the challenges and the hard parts about the faith are actually the parts that make the faith so rewarding.

Chris Dwyer [20:20] Well then that would bring me to the question about the church and if it sees something, we talk about lagging behind, does it necessarily mean that they have to modify what they’re doing or should they, if they truly believe it’s good for you, shouldn’t they reinforce it, explain it, and help support you in that way?

Amanda Saunders [20:37] I think coming from an education standpoint, everything needs to be scaffolded. If you have to be able to meet people where they are. And so I don’t even necessarily, I think modifying can sometimes be misconstrued with changing and being, really trying to change tradition or change how we work within the church and I don’t think that’s the way to go. But I think modifying things so that they’re understandable so that they are relatable, but also so that they’re real. I think Amy, everything that she just said is exactly what she was talking about earlier with people are seeking spaces where they can be vulnerable and we don’t have that on social media, we don’t have that a lot of times, especially if a lot of our friends are not in the church, we don’t have that there. And then when we come to church, we don’t have it here either. And so I think a lot of people are searching for a way to talk about those middle pieces, those pieces where not everybody knows that I’m suffering because I can go day to day without letting other people know, but I have nowhere to talk about it. And so I think the church in general needs to lean more towards the pastoral side of the faith and create spaces where we can have conversation about, I’m struggling with this. I don’t know how to do this, but I know that I want to lean on my faith. I just don’t know how. And have somebody that’s there that’s like, okay, I’ve also struggled with this. I’ve been down this road. Here’s how I kind of pulled myself out of it. And here’s the theological backing to that.

Chris Dwyer [22:31] Now on that when we talked about this a few weeks back out, folks didn’t want the clergy necessarily to be those advisors those people offering assistance, they really wanted peer-to-peer or an older generation who has been through it and can offer solid advice. But when it came to the clergy, there was almost a distance they were desiring to keep. And in fact they said really the parish pastor probably has little knowledge about the people sitting in the pews in front of them.

Amy Brandt [23:06] I think there’s definitely a mistrust between younger generations. I’m sure also with some of the older generations and religious life of just, we’ve seen all this hurt and all this brokenness that is not necessarily because of specific individuals. There’s a lot of really beautiful role models in our church, but there’s just this mistrust and I think we still long for a mentor or someone to, for us to run ideas by who’s lived through more experiences than ourselves and has explored more of the faith. And I think there’s a lot of beauty in risking and getting to know priests, getting to know sisters, but that just takes a lot of courage that I think a lot of millennials are not quite comfortable to do, not quite comfortable enough in a place where they can do that. So I think maybe creating mentorship programs within a parish within parishioners and young adults and then maybe having just priests openly available of like, it’s not confession, it’s not the sacraments, but it’s just getting to know the priest as a person, not as an authoritative figure.

Chris Dwyer [24:24] So they have to step outside of their parish or outside of their church and their rectory and actually come out to be with the people.

Amy Brandt [24:31] Yeah. Or creating space and availability within the parish.

Amanda Saunders [24:36] I was just at a church this past weekend in Long Island and during the homily, the priest was talking about how he runs through the town and he was like, I don’t run because I like to run. He’s like, I run so that my parishioners see me on the street, and if they see me and they wave, I will stop my run. He’s like usually it takes me two and a half hours to get back to my house. But, I do it so that I’m present to the people and I’m leaving my space and coming to their space. And I think even just a simple gesture like that allows the parishioners to see you’re a real person. You’re not just a man that stands on the alter and tells us what to do every Sunday. Like you’re a real person who has hobbies, who is out in our community. And I think that that speaks to what Amy was just saying very beautifully and I really enjoyed him sharing that.

Chris Dwyer [25:32] And you just said a man on the altar. And that leads me back to probably a third of that Saturday morning, was taken up with the role of women in the Catholic Church in particular. Correct. And there was a consensus among all the participants, men and women, that there’s a need for greater visibility of women in the Catholic church. And I guess with a number of the sisters now wearing a street garb rather than their habit, they’re less visible than they had been. But, it went a step further. Folks didn’t just want to see them, they also wanted to see opportunities within the church hierarchy for women. Tell me a little bit about how you see that and what you think their role should ultimately be.

Amy Brandt [26:23] I grew up in the Pacific northwest where it’s a lot smaller religious life population compared to Washington, DC here in Brookland. And so I’ve never seen a sister or a nun at the parishes that I grew up. And I didn’t go to private school, so I didn’t have access to sisters through a school environment. So it really took to coming to a retreat in college where a sister was giving a talk there for the first time for me to actually see a woman in the Catholic Church that wasn’t a lector, speaking her own words, and it’s like I have gone to mass every weekend in my life. Like, it’s not that I had been, hadn’t gone mass for eight years of my life or something and like maybe missed the weekends that the sisters were there. And I think that says a lot and I think that is partially a geographically unique situation. But, I think it’s fairly evident here at my experience living in DC this past year. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve seen woman go up to give any type of information besides just reciting something that’s written.

Chris Dwyer [27:41] It’s interesting because I worked with a number of the parishes around the country, over 14,000 of them. And I hear this frequently, but I also know that in a lot of these parishes we have women who are taking leadership roles in the parish itself and in the diocese. For example, in our own diocese here in the Archdiocese of Washington, our own chancellor is female. But, ask the common Catholic in the pew, they’re not going to even know that we have a female in the chancellor’s office. So there might be a need for the institutional church to start showing these women and what their role is. And the chancellor’s office is a very important role, here in the archdiocese, in any diocese. So making it visible, making that person visible is an important step forward.

Amy Brandt [28:34] And I think also just it comes back to an understanding of the purpose of these roles or these rules or anything. If I don’t know what the chancellor does or if I don’t know that as a parishioner, I can go to the parish office and ask the secretary to get coffee with me, if I don’t know that those are things that are okay or could be normal if we wanted it to be, then I’m not going to do that out of fear of that, crossing a line or, or just out of not knowing that that’s even an option.

Chris Dwyer [29:08] And a lot of the administration of these parishes are hidden. You don’t have a daily interaction or even a weekly interaction with them. You may be standing in the grocery store line, you know with a parish business manager and you don’t even know she’s in your parish. So, certainly we have to work on it. And I know that the friars here took that information to heart and are looking at how we can make women more visible here at the Monastery.

Sam Hardwick [29:36] I think it’s important for the laity people to get involved in that and bringing it to the priests here. But there needs to be a bigger voice within the church itself, within the hierarchy who are calling for that because we can talk about it all we want, but we can’t do anything really except to go to our pastors, go to our priests and tell them that. But I mean, where do we even have the space to do that? When do we ever have the opportunity to go to our parish priest and say, “Hey, are you advocating for women in the church, at the diocese, at the diocesan level?” You know, I don’t know if that even exists or if the priests are doing that.

Chris Dwyer [30:18] I think the priests are so overwhelmed just with their daily responsibilities and you folks were all kind enough to recognize that they are being pulled in a hundred different directions, that they probably don’t get to talk to the diocesan office all that often. It is certainly an option for all of the laity to contact their own bishop, their own Archbishop. They are your shepherd, so you shouldn’t hesitate to contact our office and let them know what your thoughts are regarding that. I know clergy becomes an issue and that came up also, you know we only see male deacons and we see male priests and then the hierarchy, the bishops, and cardinals and such and obviously our Holy Father. So, do younger generations look to the church eventually modifying that?

Amanda Saunders [31:13] I would say in general, yes. Especially the people that I surround myself with. There’s a lot of confusion about why women can’t be deacons and I personally don’t think the church is doing a very good job of explaining why. I think, at least from what I’ve read, I am not claiming to have read everything or read the really long Vatican documents, but from the snippets that are being like put out on social media in different articles, it seems like the churches just saying over and over again, like we can’t make a decision that’s not based in history and tradition. And that to me isn’t explaining to anybody why, what is the history? What is the tradition? Why aren’t those things allowing women to have a more specific role because women are 80% of the churches workers. That’s 80% of the churches run by women. But we don’t see them ever, they run things in the background, which is an important role and it should be celebrated. But it makes me sad that we keep saying that we need to have the church show us or make us visible. It’s like, allow us to just show you what we can do instead of saying the bishop needs to make us visible or the parish priest needs to make us visible. Like we’re here. And so if the church can just open up any kind of venue for us to allow us to just take that step, like we’re already here, we’re already doing the work, and so it does make me sad to say like we need to come from the top down to make women visible, like were already here.

Chris Dwyer [33:08] And you may want to reverse that and go from the bottom up and go to your parish pastor and have that conversation and see where the groups that you are involved with and have formed or would like to form, make it known to him and make it a part of that parish life. Once it shows its great success, which it will, then he can tell that among his other fellow pastors and then the bishop will also take notice. So it’ll have a natural progression of.

Amanda Saunders [33:38] But I think that’s what we’ve already been doing. I think women have been making groups in their parishes. I think they have been starting rosary groups and starting Bible studies and mentoring the younger women in the parish. I think all of those things are happening. I just don’t think it’s ever taking a step further than that. I think we’re kept in the parish basement.

Chris Dwyer [34:00] How do we get that to change? Amy, any thoughts on that?

Amy Brandt [34:03] I think it comes from open dialog and inviting different voices to the table, whether it’s inviting more lay women to just some conversations at a higher level, not necessarily making decisions but just inviting people to those conversations because I think right now, from the Catholic perspective, we see the church respect so many Catholic women like Mary and then all these saints and there’s just this reverence towards women. But it almost from a stance where you’re just taking the minimal information that is given, it comes off very hypocritical of like, okay, we really just honor and respect women so much, but God forbid they want to say anything in front of a group. And the most holy part of the Catholic faith is the mass and the Eucharist. And just, it’s hard to see where we fit into the picture. And I believe there is purpose to the Catholic structure of the mass, but I can’t articulate why because it hasn’t been articulated to me in a way that makes sense to me enough to be able to then advocate and share with others. So I think it’s a difficult position when it’s hard enough at a high level for them to even articulate to each other as there are a lot of debates about a lot of these issues about the woman’s role in the Catholic Church. So I think there just needs to be a more broader language and more accessible language and then more accessible resources. And if they’re already out there, then there needs to be, they need to be pushed and given to us. And I hate to say on a platter, but when there’s such small level of commitment and involvement from our generation in the church, we’re not going to put effort into doing research if we’re not even sure this is something we want to invest in.

Chris Dwyer [36:08] Comes back to Amanda’s statement that we have to meet you folks where you’re at first to get folks engaged.

Amy Brandt [36:15] Yeah. It’s kind of a catch 22 where like these issues, in order to be resolved, we have to advocate for them, but as a generation we’re not going to advocate if we’re not involved. And it’s just like a cycle.

Chris Dwyer [36:28] Well, this could go on all day. I honestly, seriously, and many, many subjects like it. But I know this podcast today and also the focus group was of great value to the friars and certainly as they’re planning the future of this Monastery here, they’re going to take your information to heart and use it to build programs, that hopefully will engage women and certainly engage your generation and hopefully generations to come because without you, we have no church. So I want to thank all of you. I want to thank Amy Brandt, Amanda Saunders, and Sam Hardwick. Thank you for coming by today and sharing your insights. I appreciate it.

Sam Hardwick [37:10] It was a thrill, truly.

Chris Dwyer [37:13] I also want to thank our listeners. I would encourage all of our listeners to visit our website, myfranciscan.org and keep up to date with all of the latest information about the Franciscan Monastery and the work of the Holy Land Friars on our Facebook, our Twitter, and our Instagram accounts. Please share this link with your family and friends. And until next time, on behalf of the friars here at the Monastery, I’m Christopher Dwyer and I extend to you the Franciscan blessing of peace and all good.


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2019-07-11T09:37:12-04:00July 10th, 2019|Categories: Following Francis Podcast, News|Comments Off on Episode 5: Faith & Spirituality – A Millennials Perspective