What if we taught young people that they can measure success by how they follow Christ rather than by how much money they make or where they go to college?
In What Matters Most, University of Notre Dame theology professor Leonard J. DeLorenzo urges youth ministers, teachers, and parents to help young people redefine success in light of their call to discipleship—completely saying yes to God.
In Luke's account of the Annunciation, Mary offers a true model of discipleship for young people to follow. Her example will empower them to make choices about how to live their lives as a courageous yes to God in everything they choose—just as she did.
DeLorenzo, who served as the long-time director of Notre Dame Vision—a program designed to help young Catholics find their true calling as disciples of Jesus—shows how Mary exhibited four habits that will guide young people to make important life decisions:
- Listen carefully and practice patience.
- Remember who we are and what we value most.
- Respond with compassion to choices we face.
- Embrace sacrifice for the sake of love.
DeLorenzo includes personal stories from his experience as a father and working with youth and young adults with spiritual wisdom to equip teachers, mentors, pastoral ministers, and parents to reexamine the way they encourage and help form young Catholics approaching significant life choices such as college and jobs. He presents ways to remedy spiritual deficits in these young people created by cultural realities such as the fast pace of tech-driven lives and the looming pressure to succeed with worldly accomplishments.
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Ave Maria Press
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"This book is a must-read for those who work with young Catholics and struggle to help them find the depths of God in their overscheduled lives. Leonard DeLorenzo urges us to seek and embrace silence for ourselves and his thought-compelling stories remind us to dwell in the presence of God every day as we accompany young people along their paths of vocational discernment.
Associate Director of Youth Ministry
Archdiocese of Atlanta
Thanks to What Matters Most, parents and faith formation ministers have a map for the difficult journey of raising Catholic children in the midst of a confusing world. Leonard DeLorenzo invites us to look to Mary as the perfect role model for choosing to live as disciples. You will be encouraged and experience a spiritual deepening because of his excellent work!
Catholic Campus Ministry Association
I love what Lenny DeLorenzo wrote! Love it. I need to reread this book every single year to remind myself how to minister to young people well and why it's important to do so. His personal witness, masterful insights, crucial and compelling questions, and practical explanations make What Matters Most an essential text for anyone who works with and loves young people today.
Catholic speaker and author of Follow
What Matters Most is both radically simple and profoundly challenging. It portrays our work in the formation of young people today—tomorrow's saints—as daunting but doable. The ultimate goal is clearly, positively, and often beautifully defined.
Head of School
La Lumiere School
"What Matters Most is an engaging theological reflection on the important work of introducing—or reintroducing —young people to a vital spiritual life in Christ. Leonard DeLorenzo takes on the courageous task of challenging the prevailing cultural ethos that encourages youth to value accomplishment, achievement, and scholastic metrics over faithfulness to the Gospel's call to listen, remember, respond, and sacrifice.
University of Portland
Leonard DeLorenzo sheds profound light onto how faith is rooted in ways of being in the world that are often at variance with the grasshopper habits of digital natives. He beautifully demonstrates how a Christian culture, with its way of seeing the world, is necessary to liberate us from the anxious narratives of our time and glimpse God’s way of being, which we are constantly invited to share. I am grateful for this book. It has taught me much.
Author of Take the Plunge