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The Twentysomething SoulUnderstanding the Religious and Secular Lives of American Young Adults$
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Tim Clydesdale and Kathleen Garces-Foley

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190931353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190931353.001.0001

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(p.51) Chapter 3 Catholics
The Twentysomething Soul

Tim Clydesdale

Kathleen Garces-Foley

Oxford University Press

Two out of 5 Catholic twentysomethings, or 3.2 million American young adults, attend worship a couple of times monthly or more. If all 3.2 million were to gather in the same place, they would become America’s third-largest city. This chapter focuses on these religiously Active Catholics, drawing from ethnographies of a multigenerational mega-parish, a Catholic student center at a non-Catholic university, and two diocesan young adult ministries. This chapter describes how religiously active twentysomethings find these congregations and ministries, and what participation means to these young adult Catholics. This chapter also describes what characteristics these congregations and ministries have that most engages young adults, and how these engagements differ between college and post-college twentysomethings. The chapter closes with results from its National Study of American Twentysomethings, applying an active, nominal, and estranged typology to understand Catholic young adults, and offering a prediction about Catholic affiliation in the United States.

Keywords:   Catholic, Mass, Eucharist, young adult ministry, university ministry, liturgy, Latino Catholics, Theology on Tap, marriage, cradle Catholics

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