Mark Power's article in the June AD2000, "My Generation was shortchanged", struck a chord with me, because it remarkably coincided with a short article I recently sent to WA's Catholic weekly, The Record.
I wrote a short "conversion" story, being one of thousands of "Born Again Catholics" in the world. In it I wrote: "I was Baptised as a baby - a 'Cradle Catholic'. My family was fairly ordinary. My parents were good people who took us to Mass on Sundays and sent us all to Catholic schools. We received all the Sacraments at all the 'right' times.
"Unfortunately, it didn't really work. I was taught the basic doctrine of the Catholic Faith for the first five years of school, and then it stopped. In upper primary (late 1960s) religion lessons were fuzzy, feely 'Make a poster to show how much God loves you' stuff. High school religion (early 1970s) was a series of lessons questioning the Faith and deciding how to respond."
In his article, 1968 was highlighted by Mark as the year that it all started to go wrong. 1968 was the year that I was in Grade 5. What I find amazing is that dissent, and its attendant innovations, must simply have been "waiting in the wings" (at least in WA) for it to have begun to affect me so quickly.
Clearly, I am now a committed Catholic, but it took me a while to get back Home. My Catholic education was completed by me through the reading of orthodox Catholic books, after I began to mix with people who were pro-life.
I am now home-schooling my own children, and hoping and praying they will neither lack in knowledge nor commitment to the Catholic Faith.
Unfortunately for today's children entrusted to Catholic schools, those who were taught in the 1960s and 1970s are now themselves teaching, compounding the problem. You cannot teach what you do not know. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that the parents of these children don't know any better. They can't see what their children aren't receiving, because they don't have it either.
It's going to take a long time to undo the damage of the past 30 years. But I do see some hope in the fact that a big proportion of the recently ordained priests in Perth are devout and orthodox.
Mrs Carol V. Phillips