Quebec may have hit bottom when it comes to measures of Catholic adherence and commitment, but the growth of new religious communities and renewal groups in the province suggests stirrings of a new generation in the church, reports the National Catholic Register (September 24). By all indicators, the Catholic Church in Quebec has taken a free fall from its position as a Catholic stronghold before the 1960s. Sparse church attendance and an acute shortage of priests, as well as the general secularization of Quebec public life, remain prominent.
Although he does not cite statistics, John Zucchi of McGill University sees young people rejecting the anti-Catholic attitudes of the previous generations who often battled the church on political grounds. “Many were born in a spiritual vacuum. With no antagonism toward their parents, they are starting to come back to church.”
More tangible signs of change are evident in the growth of Catholic renewal movements and communities. Such movements as Marie Jeunesse and Myrium Bethlehem are two of “several dozen” new communities…some that are home-grown, and some that were begun in France.” Other international orders, such as Opus Dei and the Legionaries, are also finding a following. These movement stress such traditional practices as adoration of the Eucharist and are showing some new religious vocations.
(National Catholic Register, 432 Washington Ave., North Haven, CT 06473)