National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Cover story
Issue Date:  August 1, 2003

Youth make voices heard in support of staff

In the groundswell of protest against the firing of four women on the staff of Holy Spirit Parish, the youth of the parish have played a visible role.

Adam Moya
-- NCR Photos/T. Malcolm

“First there’s the shock, then there’s the anger, then there’s how do you fix it,” said Adam Moya, 16.

Moya, president of the high school youth group, organized in a week -- “kind of crazy, but doable,” he said -- a 12-mile march from Holy Spirit Parish to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle National Shrine in San Juan. He and the youth group pulled it off, with about 50 young people joining the July 5 walk to show support for the workers.

The crisis “hasn’t affected my faith in God at all,” Moya said. “If anything it’s made it stronger because I’ve seen the community come together. And they say the church is the people, so my view of the church is great. My view of the people running the church has been greatly altered in a negative way.”

“You have to realize there are many great priests and bishops out there,” added middle school youth group member Andrea Mosher, 13. “We just have one that doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions and doesn’t want to tell the truth.”

Caroline Hallman

Caroline Hallman, a 19-year-old Holy Spirit parishioner, said, “It doesn’t stop after this. If this gets resolved, then it’s our job to keep this diocese in check. Because things have been screwing up all over the country, and not anymore with just sex abuse scandals. Everything else is starting to surface. So there’s a lot of work to do. …

“There’s so much going on that the Catholic church has to help out with -- I mean, there’s poverty all over the world. But we’re spending our time trying to fix our own structure. We’re wasting time trying to fix this situation. And it’s really angering. [The church] is supposed to be the outlet to help fix what else is going on.”

-- Teresa Malcolm

National Catholic Reporter, August 1, 2003

This Week's Stories | Home Page | Top of Page
Copyright  © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111
All rights reserved.
TEL:  816-531-0538     FAX:  1-816-968-2280   Send comments about this Web site to: