Robert Frost's "freedom lies in being bold" is Kate Smith's personal philosophy. Flamboyant Kate, 30, holds firm to her faith in God and is passionate about helping other generations understand why young people are distanced from the Church, reports The Catholic Leader.
"As a member of Generation Y I know that I am an increasingly rare beast - (I'm) a practising Catholic," the marketing manager said. "Actually, I don't believe it is nearly as rare as people think but many of us have been conditioned to be Catholic in private, not public."
Kate's private faith was ignited in the more public sphere of her home parish of Sunnybank, on Brisbane's southside. It's "a vibrant parish ... with such a strong youth focus".
That focus was the impetus of Sunnybank parish priest Fr Tom Hegerty (now deceased) and has been continued by the pastors since. "I've been lucky as a Sunnybank parishioner because we have always had a thriving youth group," Kate said.
"It was within the youth group that my connection with my faith changed - it wasn't just a habit or a mandate from Mum - it became something I chose to do."
Within her boldness and contribution to parish life, Kate says she's still "a flawed Catholic".
"For many years my faith was a habit - like many people of my generation we had the rule at home that while you lived there you had to go to Mass each weekend," she said.
Her faith formation during her school years "could have been better" too, something Kate said "contributes in some way to the lack of engagement of many people under 35 with their faith".
"(Young people) are not sure why we believe the things we do and we don't fully understand the Catechism so we don't get fully involved and many times it is easier to walk away entirely," she said.
Fortunately for Kate, her involvement in parish life kept her drawn to the Table of the Lord and nowadays "there are rare weekends" she doesn't attend Mass.
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