Shelburne priest looks at the world through the eyes of yout

SHELBURNE The youth of today are under almost unbearable pressure. See the world through their eyes, said Rev. Michael DeForge of St. Catherines Catholic Church in Shelburne. DeForge should know. Before he came to Shelburne in July he was advisor to Catholic students at the University of Vermont for 13 years. He said the pressure to succeed, the turmoil, the uncertainty, the culture of divided families, reflects the culture of today. The youth of today are expected to excel in their studies, in sports, in social expectations, he said. The issue is with ourselves as a culture. He believes relationship groups outside mainstream life are organized as support against bias and prejudice. Father DeForge said students have an idealism, a desire to help others. But they are faced with staggering debt from their education, and must get jobs. And there is pressure to marry and have a family. As an example, Father Mike spoke of a couple he recently talked to who had a debt of several hundred thousand dollars for their education. She is a medical student and he is a lawyer. When Father DeForge was at UVM, there was a great momentum of students moving off campus. He praised UVM for building the new dormitories which are bringing students back to a sense of community. He also believes the new Davis building will add to a feeling of cohesiveness. Young people today have pressures not easily recognized. Let them know they are accepted as they question the values of our culture. Again, said Father DeForge, See our world through their eyes.

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