“Be more of who you are,” Franciscan Mission Service Executive Director Kim Smolik told Conference of Major Superiors of Men. The 200-plus attendees gathered in Texas earlier this month represented more than 17,000 Catholic religious brothers and priests in the United States.

Kim Smolik’s well-received talk at the CMSM 
2012 Assembly examined young adults

In her presentation, Kim described how religious orders have what young adults today are seeking – prayer, community, direction, compassion and service. The orders only have to plug-in and reach out them.

“The Millenials” — those Americans born between 1981 and 2000 — are different from their predecessors. Kim provided an in-depth and hopeful look at this techy generation, looking toward a future in which young peoples’ faces and voices will be a part of the  Church.

In addition to statistics from organizations such as the Pew Forum and the Public Religion Research Institute, Kim shared her own experience and research, including a two-question survey she sent out to young adults.

The survey went out to men and women, conservative and liberal young Catholic adults, asking, “What are your hopes for the Catholic Church in the next five years?” and “What keeps you in the Church? Or if you have left, why did you leave?”

The responses were thought-provoking, and more than half included personal notes saying things such as, “Thank you so much for asking for our input! Thank you for representing our voices at this conference among church leaders. It means so much that you care what young adults think about the Church. We are the Church, too.”

To read some of the survey results and learn more about Catholic Millenials, please see the full text of Kim’s talk, Daring to Dream Anew: Communion, Compassion and Courage for the Church to Come, on the FMS website.