Why do so many millennials become Catholic? It’s not because they’re hipper than thou, and it’s certainly not because they’re holier. Michelangelo’s writhing, unfinished statues of slaves, struggling in their prisons of stone, are a picture of millennial converts to Catholicism: broken and banished from Eden, stuck in the fallen flesh of Adam, yet baptized and brought back into the family of God. They are an unfinished product. And they are home. How did this happen?
How?
They are the generation that came of age amid Discmans, WWJD bracelets, Promise Rings, and “See You at the Pole.” Their childhoods witnessed the rise and fall of Tetris and Bible sword drills, Beanie Babies and light up sneakers. They entered puberty just when AOL screen names were at peak popularity and CCM was off the charts. Churches everywhere were dropping the -Baptist and -Church from their names to be more Seeker-Friendly. As gasoline prices plummeted to baffling lows, their parents drove them to youth group lock-ins at “Woodbridge Congregation” and “Prairie View Community” in sport utility vehicles. Their first rock concert was a Christian band no one has ever heard of, and they ended their relationships after reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye. They pierced their navels, their cartilage, their eyebrows, and covered their Bibles in stickers.
Then they went to college and more than a few of them discovered that C.S. Lewis drank beer. And they found out that dating isn’t one of the seven deadly sins. And the Dark Ages were not at all dark. And, as they watched the first installment of Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), they began to feel that perhaps there was something more to this world—more even to Christianity—than they had ever imagined. It was that one scene, the one where Gandalf visits Minas Tirith

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