Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

3 things you find at Buffalo TOTs vs Rochester

August 5th, 2010, Promulgated by b a

I got this email from a friend today

1) “I love latin mass” + “Pro life” bumper stickers

2) Lots of young adults (90+ I’d say), standing room only (for a talk on theology of the body)

3) A Priest as the main speaker

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7 Responses to “3 things you find at Buffalo TOTs vs Rochester”

  1. Dr. K says:

    This is amazing! Thank you.

    Start taking notes, DoR.

  2. Christopher says:

    So to expand on this a bit. Sue Howard of Blessed Sacrament once asked me “Why does Buffalo get so many more people than Rochester?”

    I think there’s many things to consider, some of which I will probably miss and would like your help in fleshing out.

    The question is “What can Rochester do to bring in more young adults to these functions?”

    Here’s what I can come up with:

    1) Solid speakers

    This leads to a secondary question of, what makes a good speaker….
    a) An “expert” in the field obviously (someone who knows the Catholic teaching and why it’s the truth over opposing secular and/or dissenting views). Preferrably a sister, priest or even a Bishop.
    b) An engaging personality towards young adults. This is sometimes overlooked but is critical. Young people get bored easy and we are trained to have the attention span of a Jack Russel Terrier with the advent of smartphones and information overload.
    c) Someone who can get young adults to follow up and want to understand the topic further beyond the initial talk.
    d) Someone who gives out papers or resources at the end of the talk for further information and makes himself or herself available for email questions
    e) In general, they should be a good “teacher” and a good “speaker” just like you’d find at any good college

    2) Good topics

    What makes a good topic?

    a) A topic that applies to young adults in today’s world (practical topics)
    b) A topic that might be controversial
    c) A topic that is engaging and good for discussion

    Typically the best topics are controvertial but usually have to deal with the central question of “Why does the church teach X?”. Most Catholics know the WHAT, but they don’t know the WHY?

    Example topics:

    i) Confession, why it’s important, why do we need to goto a priest, what is the priest’s function, what sins need to be confessed, how often, etc. etc.

    ii) The meaning of the mass, Why is mass boring to young adults, what are they missing? What are we supposed to get out of it, what are we supposed to put into it?

    iii) Ways to get involved in the church and the joys of charity, discernment of vocations

    iv) “Apologetics, answering protestants” Why do catholics pray to Saints/Mary? What’s the sacrifice of the mass about if Jesus was sacrificed once and for all? What is the Pope’s role? Transubstantiation

    v) “Apologetics, answering athiests”, How can you prove the Catholic church is the one true religion over Muslim, Judism, faiths etc.? Why does a loving God allow so much pain? What about all the evil the Catholic church has done and the popes and priests who have falled short of living Christian lives?

    vi) Theology of the Body and Sexuality (heck make this one a 2 part series for people who can’t make it one of the weeks)

    vii) Saints of the Catholic church, what can we (the youth) learn from them, good exciting stories and examples?

    3) Good support and marketting

    – Support from Catholic radio, Facebook, parish fliers and joint effort of all young adult and youth organizations in each parish. Colleges like RIT, UR, MCC, etc. are places for fliers.
    – Sponsorship or support from Catholic organizations such as Knights of Columbus who could go and recruit some of the youth after the actual talks

    4) Good locations

    – Bars with decent food selection and quiet air conditioned rooms so people can hear

    5) Frequency, timing and expansion

    – TOT should not just be a summer event. It should go year round and be on a monthly basis. From there, once enough support and the numbers are good, what you would do is expand into a monthly service project for young adults as well. So let’s say on the 1st of the month you have the TOT seminar. On the 15th you try to gather the same young adults for a rotating service project (one month at a nursing home, one month soup kitchen, etc.)

    These are just some of my ideas, if you could expand on them I’d apprechiate it, I may take it to the powers that be who coordinates this to give them some ideas. I’d prefer the helpful comments be constructive. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Monk says:

    People respond to the truth. That is the main ingredient. If you preach the truth, they will come. Our young adults are starved for the truth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Father Loya will speak at the Coleman Chapel, St. John Fisher College at 7:00 pm tonight (Friday August 6th)

  5. benanderson says:

    I think you hit all the points! So, are you going to distribute those suggestions? Or better yet, you could take action and start your own tot.

  6. Mike says:


    You can send your list to Shannon Loughlin (loughlin [at] dor [dot] org). Last I knew, she was in charge of scheduling ToT events.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s a blessing so few young pwoplw go to these DOR functions. The Holy Spirit is protecting them through their relative pathy! What an interesting contrast with all the elderly ideologues here in Ra Cha Cha.

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