Boston Catholic Congregations See More Millennials Coming Back to Church

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 19: Father Richard “Doc” Conway at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Church in Boston, Massachusetts on April 19, 2019. (Staff Photo By Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Millennials may be called the “disconnected generation” but some Boston churches are seeing a revival in their congregations as the 20- and 30-somethings who grew up on social media yearn to connect face-to-face.

“We’re seeing more and more millennials, which is really encouraging,” said the Rev. Richard “Doc” Conway of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, formerly St. Margaret’s, in Dorchester.

“They’re moving into the area and many of them are from different parts of the country,” said Conway, who plans to start a millennial Mass or breakfast so young adults can meet one another. “Everyone I bring it up too, all these young people, they all say, ‘What a good idea.’”

Carolina Brito, 30, principal of Boston Preparatory Charter Public School in Hyde Park, attends Mass at St. Teresa’s every week. She’s drawn to the church, she says, because Father Conway is “pretty incredible as a human being.”

“He knows everybody’s life story. He knows where everybody lives. He’s visited people’s houses in times of need,” Carolina told me. “That’s the church I want to belong to.”

Carolina, a married mother of a 13-month-old son, has worked with inner-city teens her entire career and the “kindred spirit” in Father Conway matters to her a lot.

“Here’s somebody who’s been doing this for way longer than I have and hasn’t quit,” Carolina said. “Everyone my age who’s a millennial quits everything real fast.”

St. Anthony Shrine in downtown Boston began offering a “millennial” Mass at 7 p.m on Sundays in January and it’s quickly grown over the last couple months.

“There’s definitely quite a few young people in the pews,” said Matthew Pastore, 28, who coordinates the shrine’s young adult program. “People are hungry for community.”

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SOURCE: Boston Herald, Jessica Heslam