Youth & the Church
Rev. Fr. Rodion Laskowski
The question of how to attract and keep our young people close to the Church is one of major concern in our troubled age. To remain indifferent to this problem can only be regarded as a grave sin and is an indication of soul-destroying self-love. The proposed solutions to this problem are many and varied, but unfortunately most succumb to the easy allure of gimmicks, i.e. the attempt to use methods popular in our fallen society, but sadly distant from the true aim of our salvation. Among these we find an exaggerated call to social action, distraction through social activities, appeals to the intellect, and outright distortions of the Gospel message to accommodate each individual appetite.
1 "The Early Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh," The Orthodox Word, x (July-August, 1974), 130.
2 Abbot (now Metropolitan) Philaret, Essays an Moral Theology for Young Students (N.Y.:
Department of Foreign Relations of the Synod of Bishops [of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad], 1975), 16.
3 Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), "How Does Orthodoxy Differ from the Western Denominations?" (St. Nectarios Educational Series, No.59; Seattle, Wash.: St. Nectarios Press, n.d.), 24-26.
4 "Popular Songs, Heresy and Our Way of Life," Orthodox Christian Witness, V (Sept. 27/Oct. 10, 1971),3.
5 "The Playboy Philosophy," Orthodox Christian Witness, V (Aug. 14/27,1972).
6 "On Being an Orthodox Parent," Orthodox Christian Witness, XII (Nov. 27/Dec. 10,1978), 1-2.
7 "The Age of Mediocrity," Orthodox Christian Witness, V (Oct. 11/24, 1971), 1, 4.
6 Protooresbyter George Grabbe, Orthodox Christian Education of Children in Our Days (Jordanvi lie, N.Y.: St. Job of Pochaev Press, 1960), 29.
9 "St. John Chrysostom," Orthodox Presence (Nov., 1978), 11-12.
10 Constantine Cavarnos, St. ~enios ofParos (Modern Orthodox Saint~Vdl. VI; Belmont, Mass.: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1978), 59.
11 St Ambrose of Milan, On the Duties of the Clergy (A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church 2nd Series, Vol. X; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1969), 58.
12 Archimandrite (now Metropolitan) Philaret, "Address of Archimandrite Philaret," Orthodox Christian Witness, VII (Aug. 5/18, 1974), 3.
13 "Epistle to the Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Beloved of God," Orthodox Life, XXVIII (Nov.-Dec., 1978), 20.
14 Archimandrite Panteleimon, "The Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia," Orfhodox Christian Witness, VIII (Sept. 23/Oct. 6,1974), 5.
15 Ibid., 9.
16 Rev. Michael Azkoul, "Orthodoxy: My Country," Orthodox Christian Witness, X (Oct.18/31,1976), 2.
17 "The Age of Mediocrity," op. cit., 3.
18 St John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, trans. Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore) (Willits, Calif.: Eastern Orthodox Books, 1973), 55.
"Youth & the Church" is the text ofan address delivered at the last annual St. Herman Youth Conference, held on 12/25 December, 1978, at the Russian Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Kazan, Newark, New Jersey, sponsored by its pastor, the V. Rev. Archpriest Vladimir Shishko if. Fr. Radian Laskowski is pastor of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Meeting of Our Lord, Strafford, Connecticut. The staftofOrthodox Life wishes to express its gratitude to Fr. Radian for his gracious permission to print this address in our magazine.