Seeking Christ's heart

Know a young person full of questions? Help them find answers

Deacon Dana Nearmyer is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth

by Deacon Dana Nearmyer

Thirteen years of age is the median age that Catholics are choosing to remain Catholic or not, according to a recent research study of young adults. 

It further states that 74 percent of the sample population of this study said they left the faith between the ages of 10 and 20.

The research study is called “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics,” released by Saint Mary’s Press of Minnesota, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

Spiritually captivating young people in engaging and meaningful experiences is essential to developing them as “question askers” and lifelong believers. The questions that kids are asking are real questions, and they deserve robust dialogue, counter-questions and understandable answers. 

There is a window of time where young people ask a lot of questions, and whether they close up or blossom often depends on how we respond to these early questions.

In January, more than 1,500 local young people experienced life-changing encounters and asked great questions at the March for Life in Washington, the Topeka pro-life rally and an archdiocesan commemoration of World Youth Day.

Each of our young believers needs a tapestry of personal and communal encounters with Jesus to stimulate questions, reinforce and catalyze their minds, and develop wills that seek an ever-deepening relationship with God. Even though those inspiring experiences are now in the past, many more are coming up.

Camp Tekakwitha is a place where young people are led into a tapestry of personal and communal encounters with Jesus while having a blast! Camp reinforces strong Catholic values thorough robust dialogues and exciting activities.

Please consider registering a young loved one at Camp Tekakwitha. You can see amazing pictures and videos of the camp on Instagram, and register online at:

The Camp Tekakwitha women’s retreat registration is open; it fills fast because it is so meaningful. Ages 18- to 90-year-olds rave about the women’s retreat.

Men, look into the Fire Retreat and Men Under Construction. Families come back year after year to family camp!  

Grandparents are a treasured part of family camp, so consider inviting them. You can register for Camp Tekakwitha experiences online at:

Other powerful spiritual experiences to get on your calendar are Saint Paul Outreach young adult Mass and activities, City on a Hill young adult activities, Village Fires, marriage enrichment activities, Made for More and myriad opportunities for all ages and interests. 

Check our website or call us; we can help you find encounters, and curate relationships in your own home, where you and your loved ones can encounter Christ face and face and have a rich dialogue about your questions.

About the author

Deacon Dana Nearmyer

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