“Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
I have had the great privilege of interviewing a fellow Catholic teen fighting the battle for the new evangelization. TheCatholicApologist is one of the many members of the ‘New Catholic Generation’ Catholic teen movement, which aspires to connect all the Catholic teens present on YouTube under one banner. I would like to thank TheCatholicApologist, Reborn Pure Admin, and all the members of NCG for all that they do for Christ and his Church. If you haven’t heard of New Catholic Generation before I highly suggest you check out their website, which is www.newcatholicgeneration.com. Lastly, I want to direct you all to TheCatholicApologist’s YouTube Channel, which has a treasure trove worth of information for all Catholic youth to learn from. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I have, God bless!
Q#1: Why is the use of apologetics important (to you)?
I’d say that one of the reasons it’s important is because of the sudden objections to the faith that are always possible to show up. I’ve had a few myself and I’m sure every single Catholic has. If I don’t know how to respond properly to them, it will in no way help the person I am speaking with to understand what I know to be true. You never know when there is something you say (if said correctly) that the Holy Spirit will use to bring that soul closer to Himself. It is also good for me to know what I’m talking about when a pair of Mormons come to my door. When they see a Catholic teen such as myself, being able to defend his faith, it definitely makes an impact. Anyway, the point is, you never know if something you say makes even the smallest impact on someone. So with that being said, it’s important for me to make sure that I am defending the faith properly.
Q#2: How has the use of apologetics affected you in your own life?
The use of apologetics is one of the main reasons I’m making YouTube videos today. It was once I started to learn more about my faith and how to defend the Church’s teachings, that I came to love it more. My story as to where I am today is a bit long, but I can definitely say that starting to learn some of the basics of apologetics was an important step that has brought me here today.
Q#3 What mindset, if any, do you think a person must have in order to fully understand and properly use apologetics?
I’d say that what you really need is to want to understand it. If you do something just because your parents are making you or something like that, it probably won’t do you much good. You really have to want to do it or at least be open to it. I think one thing that helped set things up for me personally was when we started to pray the rosary together every night as a family. We didn’t always want to do it, but we did it anyway. Soon enough, the rosary was no longer long and boring. Then, we started listening to CD’s in the car from Lighthouse Catholic Media. The things I learned from people like Dr. Scott Hahn, Stephen Ray, Matthew Kelly etc. where a huge step in me coming to love my faith more. So really, the easiest way to put it is that it’s a matter of the will. You have to want to learn or at least be open to it.
Q#4: When was the first time the significance of apologetics became apparent to you?
I think the first time I ever thought about the significance of apologetics was in kindergarten at mass one Sunday morning. I was sitting there with my parents in the pew while the pastor at the time was giving his homily. As of today, I’m not quite exactly sure what he said, but upon hearing it, even at that age made me say to myself,” One day, I need to be doing that”. Now, whether I’d be defending the Church as a priest or lay person, I did not know. But I knew then, deep inside, that that is what I was called to do.
Q#5: It seems that a proper understanding of Scripture is essential in the use of apologetics. Do you have any suggestions for the person, especially a teenager, who is picking up their Bible for the first time, so as to learn more about Catholicism, but has no idea where to start?
What I would suggest is that you start with the gospels. In it, contains the basis of the Church’s teachings on: The One True Church, Baptism, Confession, The Eucharist, and so much more! Oh, and just to top things off, it’s all from the mouth of Our Savior Himself!
Q#6: In the past the Church has had great apologists such as the likes of Saints Augustine of Hippo or Thomas Aquinas. At times this may cause us to feel like our defenses of the faith fall far short of what the great apologists of the Church produced and are pointless. What would you say to a person who has this mindset?
I’d say that if you if you have that mindset, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible because it isn’t from God. Although people like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas are amazing saints, we do have some advantages that they never had. For example, we have the internet which we can use to look up all kinds of information and different defenses to the faith! Science has also greatly advanced in our society which can be used to help prove the existence of God and Eucharistic miracles. Another thing in our favor is that we have more saints that we can ask intercession from than any saint has ever had! One last thing to keep in mind is that the saints are not jealous. They won’t get mad if we end up coming up with a better defense for one of the Church’s teachings than what they did. A matter a fact, they’ll even help us to do the best we can. So although we have many more problems today than then, we have so many more graces to counter sin with.
Q# 7: Do you think the proper use of apologetics is any more or less important in our day and age than it was in the past? Why?
I would definitely say that it is more important now than ever! Think about it, abortion is killing thousands of children in the womb daily, our society is extremely anti-Catholic, and we have 38,000+ other denominations out there saying that they have the truth! As I said in my answer to the previous question, we have more obstacles than many of the saints had in their day and age so we need all the graces we can get! And along with the graces, we need to be able to defend what we believe and share those graces with those the world has tried to prevent from receiving them.
Q#8: I am sure many members of our audience, along with myself, are aware you are a member of New Catholic Generation. In fact we have actually featured interviews of other NCG members in the past such as ‘TheCatholicRebel’. Has being a member of NCG furthered your journey in apologetics. If so how?
Not only has NCG furthered my journey in apologetics, but has also helped me in other areas of my life. I have learned more ways to defend the faith, helped others with their journey as well as them helping me, and I’ve even had the opportunity to meet up with two (so far) other Catholic vloggers in person. One of the good thing about being part of NCG and being able to communicate with other Catholic video bloggers, is that if one of us isn’t sure how to answer an objection that say a protestant has put before them, they can ask other vloggers and we can all help each other out! I am so thankful first off to God, and second, to our founder Renee (RebornPure) for saying yes to God and creating New Catholic Generation. It has been a blessing to me and many others.
Q#9: Lastly, if you could give one word of advice to future aspiring Catholics apologists what would it be?
My advice would be this. Never give up. You may have people ridicule you, curse you, insult you, tell you that you’re heading to hell or even wish that you would just go away (I’ve had almost all of these by the way). But no matter what, you must never give up doing what’s right. Fight the good fight and stay far away from that wide and easy path. Continue to take the narrow way and evangelize with charity and enthusiasm. Never give up in this spiritual warfare, never give in to the temptations Satan offers you, and never try doing it all by yourself. For only with God are all things possible. Finally, I’d encourage you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in need of support in this spiritual battle. I can’t promise to be perfect, but I will do the best I can.
By Corey H.