On October 23 at Christendom College students gathered to hear President of the Augustine Institute Dr. Jonathan Reyes deliver an address entitled “The Youth Movement in the Church and the New Evangelization.”
The address was particularly geared toward the role of Christendom students in the new evangelization. “You are part of something big,” Reyes said. “Greatness does not mean size, it means depth…the deep roots of faith.”
Speaking of formation, he said that the last generation did not want to be formed, whereas this generation wants to be formed, “this generation is speaking out, they know whatever is out there, isn’t working.”
“Very few people that I meet,” he continued, “get the formation and education that you receive. You have an added weight-a greater responsibility because of this.”
Reyes also spoke of the rebellion against the traditions of the Church coming to an end. This generation is not one of rebellion; it is one of rebuilding. He added, “Go out and build things. Take the time. It’s hard, but be patient and keep building.”
In explaining what he meant by building he cited a homily by then Cardinal Ratzinger which stated that in order to build up the house of God, we must be rebuilt, that is, be rebuilt into saints.
“You must bring your formation to others–bring it with love… Reconnect people with the traditions [of the Church]. Sometimes just a piece of the tradition, which you share, can cause great change,” he explained.
In closing Reyes told students to step forward and to give what they have received at Christendom, to be patient, and always be willing to learn. Quoting St. Ignatius, he said, “Go and set the world on fire!”
The talk was well received by students and many lingered to discuss their calling to be future Catholic leaders with each other and the speaker.
Reyes in the past has served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs of Christendom College. He received an MA in history from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in history from the University of Notre Dame. Reyes has spoken on college campuses, at parishes, and at conferences across the country. He has given academic lectures and has appeared on EWTN.