The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Article by Muireann from Drogheda


As a twenty-something in today’s modern world, or moreover, today’s modern Ireland, there are countless ideologies and influences permeating life at what can sometimes seem like an unstoppable pace.   The boundless bombardment of social networking and the usurping tide of global media is something that provides its own constant quest for a buoyancy to survive this technological tsunami.  Which inevitably leads a person to ask, when we are bogged down by the weight of the world, what is it that keeps us afloat?
Without engaging a long and tired list of possibilities, it is belief systems, and a faith in the integrity of those belief systems, that are the guiding forces that steer one towards the correct path in life. 
So what does that mean for an individual who could profile themselves as being “young, Catholic and female”?  To be young, Catholic and female is not novel, particularly not in Ireland, but a recent discovery has led me to find that this is a profile description I share with Lady Gaga.  She too is young, Catholic and female.  Granted, our upbringings may have been worlds apart with the result that one of us is a global superstar and icon of a generation with a penchant for wearing raw meat, while the other is more of a conventionally cotton kind of girl...But we have more in common than one might think.  
True, we do share this liking for fashion and pop culture, but our greatest similarities are demonstrated through a dislike for injustice and inequality.  While Lady Gaga’s own particular brand of Catholicism might not necessarily equate to my own, (on a daily basis we both face different dilemmas), but the fact that she can identify injustice and inequality and speak out about it, is something I believe she has adopted from her Catholic belief system.  As a female, she will not stand for subservience in any way shape or form and this, I believe, is born from an interpretation of the words of God when he said “Love one another as I have loved you."   It might not seem obvious at first, but growing up with my peers we were all Catholic and female, and we too were brought up with the words of this God who spoke to his son.  And the son in turn spoke to us telling us to love each other, treat each other fairly, respectfully and to make the world a place where no man, woman or child would feel discrimination in any way shape or form. Armed with this arsenal of thought and insight and the very essence of our fundamental belief systems, we were instructed to go forth and pronounce this to the world.  And where Lady Gaga chooses to channel this through youtube campaigns calling for an end to discrimination against the presence of openly gay soldiers in the American army, my peers and I can only attempt to evolve and adapt to our own changing lives as we constantly examine where this locates us in the context of society in any given moment or time. 
Which leads us to Sunday September 26th and a call on the Catholic female population of our country to boycott attendance at mass.  This is a suggested effort to highlight inequality and injustice in the context of the Church.  While I adamantly support all efforts to promote a campaign for the ordination of females within the Church, I fail to see how an antiquated action such as a boycott can achieve a desired impact.  It is regressive in terms of dialogue and adversely advocates a bitter debate as opposed to actively engaging it.  In essence, it is another hole punctured in the side of a sinking (as opposed to thinking) ship.
Lady Gaga and her youtube efforts would be a far more appropriate and far-reaching channel of communication.   And while it is true that actions speak louder than words, if a cause is worthy enough, physical presence is the most necessary element in a credible and true demonstration of faith, belief and support.  (How else could we show our pokerface?)



Article posted on 2nd of October 2010

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