The questions for the national conversations have been arranged by the major audiences (youth and young adults, parents, and ministry leaders) that we hope to engage in dialogue. Each set of questions have a process and script to help facilitators introduce the conversation, make transitions between questions, and close the conversation. The questions to be used in the conversations with youth and young adults are further arranged into two groupings based upon how most of the participants in the conversation would describe themselves: (1) non-, former, or marginal Catholics, and (2) active and/or engaged Catholics. This is not a label we would tell the people we are in dialogue with, or a scientific category, but a method to ask the most appropriate questions for the participants and to analyze the content of the conversations.
The following offers a brief description of each category:
NON-CATHOLIC: Never has been Catholic.
FORMER-CATHOLIC: At one time was Catholic, but now has left the church.
MARGINAL CATHOLIC: They marginally identify as Catholic, maybe because their family is Catholic. Occasionally goes to Mass on holidays. General belief in God. Not excited about faith or regularly active.
ACTIVE CATHOLIC: Glad to be Catholic and self-identify as one. Faith is part of his/her life, but it does not have much to do with daily activity. Goes to Mass on fairly regular basis. Believes in God and in Jesus. Catholicism mainly comes from family/culture.
ENGAGED CATHOLIC: Faith is guiding principle for decisions. Prays often. Committed to the mission of the church. Discerning vocation. Active in sacraments. Wants to share faith with others.