Matt Johns, a remarkable young person, will be our guest on the Yeshua Institute's free webinar Tuesday, Dec. 11, about “Attracting Young People to Greater Faith Development.”

Matt is Assistant Vice President of Disaster Recovery Communications and Compliance at Catholic Charities of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. 

While that post has him focusing on things like recovery after Hurricane Harvey ripped the Texas coast, “disaster recovery might be exactly what we’re talking about when we discuss the relationship of young people to their church today,” says Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute and co-host for the Dec. 11 webinar.

We know two things

Phelps says we know two things about youth and the church today: first, a great many youth are dropping out of organized religion; and second, Catholic adults in America typically rate that among the most important concerns they have about their church.

Fortunately it’s a concern that church leaders have too. Representatives of the world’s bishops gathered in Rome in October for a special synod on the topic.

Uniquely qualified

Matt is uniquely qualified to discuss the issue by virtue of both his biography - he’s a young Catholic family man - and his experience. He’s a former Jesuit Volunteer Corps member in Portland, ME, and was director of youth ministry at a huge parish in Sugar Land, TX.

He’s also the founder of a Leading Like Jesus leadership training and service camp for young people in his archdiocese’s 10-county area.

Matt will focus on his experiences, review highlights of the recent Bishops’ Synod on Young People and discuss ways to engage young people and help them to integrate their lives and their faith.

It’s a concern he has not only as a ministry professional but now also as a parent. Matt and his wife of eight years, Mallory, have two children -- a 7-year old daughter and a 2-year old son. 

“With all his responsibilities, we’re grateful he has carved time out time in his schedule to be with us on Dec. 11,” Phelps said.

The webinar begins at 1:30 p.m. CST (2:30 p.m. EST, 12:30 p.m. MST and 11:30 a.m. PST). To register  click here. The presentation will last about a half hour and then there will be time for questions and comments from those attending.

Can watch any time

If the date or time is not convenient, register anyway and we will provide you with a link to view it at your convenience after it airs live.

“We’re hoping that readers of The Catholic Leader will not only sign up for the webinar but will tell their family, friends and neighbors about it,” Phelps said.