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Young and Catholic

Posted at 11:27 PM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 00:27:22-05

When it comes to religion studies have shown one particular generation is leaving it behind-millennials.

However for Catholics there is a major factor reversing that trend-Pope Francis.

If you visit St. Johns Catholic Church on any Sunday morning you'll see all generations of Catholics worshipping side by side.

"I grew up going to church every Sunday with my family," said 19-year-old Kate Albrecht.

Creighton student Albrecht says religion is a major part of her life but it wasn't always that way.

"Before I was 10 years old we were just church-goers but after my mother had some health issues and Jesus miraculously brought us through that since then, they had become very involved in the parish," said Albrecht.

Albrecht is bucking a national trend the Pew Research Center says millennials are becoming less-affiliated with Christianity compared with other generations like baby boomers and Gen X.

Jonathan Chiacchaire -

"I think their main problem is a feeling of belonging especially young adults post-college, where do I fit in," said St. John's Youth Religious Coordinator Jonathan Chiacchere.

He says millennials face more distractions in the internet age which keeps them away from the church.

"You go through the newspaper see things advertising every day, things to do at night on the weekend so I think that's the major struggle," said Chiacchere.

But Pope Francis is the X-factor that could reverse this trend.

"He's kind of like a rockstar so it's fun to see, I was glued to the TV," said 29-year-old Kevin Bailey.

Bailey wasn't alone as millions of young people watched the Pope's every move when he visited the U.S. in September.

"He's really opening up the door to the church and saying this is who we are let's do it together and point us in that direction especially through his actions," said Bailey.

The Pope's teachings on helping the poor resonate with Bailey who traveled the World during college and saw what the Catholic Church can do to help.

"That's really where I felt like I was really grounded in my faith and really came to know it and really put my faith into action and use it to serve the poor," said Bailey.

Bailey and Albretcht are eager to usher in this new era of Catholicism; one of inclusiveness and they hope others will join them

"I'm so excited to be Catholic in this society because we are part of this new evangelization and I see so many more people being drawn into the heart of the church in a positive way and that really makes me excited," said Albretcht.

"I think our generation will hopefully be known for actually putting our faith into action and not just tweeting about it?" said Bailey.

Socials groups are also keeping young Catholics in the church by creating an environment for deeper conversations about spirituality.