The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Finding Faith

“Finding Faith” is a series focusing on issues of faith, morals and ethics for teens and young adults.


Gender pronouns get more thought in colleges, workplaces

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: December 7, 2018   

ROGERS — Just a few months ago, our son was preparing to head for college. As a freshman, he received a letter from an upperclassman in his field of interest. The individual was welcoming him to the campus and familiarizing him with activities in the college area. But there was a question in the letter he shared with me. Maybe it was to test me or to see if this was a topic I was More... 

Parents: Help teens, young adults cling to faith during crisis

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: September 21, 2018   

ROGERS — On many parents’ minds is how to openly address the topic of sexual abuse among clergy with their teens and young adults. The disclosure of 12 names of priests who ministered in Arkansas and have credible allegations against them has cast a light on a subject that is uncomfortable but must be addressed. For some, these scandals are triggering a crisis of faith. As evidenced by meetings held at St. Stephen Church in Bentonville More... 

Open letter to new priest: Be vulnerable, engaged, truthful

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: July 2, 2018   

This letter was written to the writer’s nephew, Father Stephen Elser, who was ordained a priest June 2. Stephen, First let me congratulate you on your accomplishment and tell you how very proud we are of you as well as the other young men with whom you have answered such a noble and profoundly important call. You embarked on this journey more than nine years ago and you have had, I’m sure, moments of self doubt, coupled with More... 

St. Augustine’s lesson from 400 A.D. for Millennials, Gen Z

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: April 21, 2018   

ROGERS — Each generation blames the one before or after it for cultural problems, bad music, bad fashion, too much or not enough religion and even collective character flaws. I imagine that to be the reason that generations were given all-inclusive names. Pointing fingers at an entire generation and faulting them for the problem-du-jour is just more efficient when you can use one pithy title for the whole lot. Simply by being born, we all fall into More... 

Good treatment for growing anxiety: Go on a digital diet

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: February 20, 2018   

ROGERS — Feeling anxious? Chances are good that you are not alone. And, really, who wouldn’t be? Most people could tick off a handful of reasons that they are worried or anxious without batting an eye. Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But, more often than not, anxiety is not taken as seriously as depression. “Anxiety is easy to dismiss More... 

Addiction to marijuana can lead to ‘radical loss of freedom’

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: November 10, 2017   

ROGERS — Hotly debated on all counts is the subject of marijuana. Controversial at best, the topics surrounding cannabis can range from individual rights to state rights. But to ignore this national discussion, is to avoid the proverbial elephant in the room. Even more crucial, is for parents, youth directors and teachers of children or students hitting double digits to get educated and be a participant in the debate. Discussions about the topic run the gamut between More... 

Pope seeking opinions of young adults around the world

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: September 25, 2017   

ROGERS — Parents and catechists are not the only ones trying to bridge the chasm between young adults and their faith in the modern world. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in May 2015 found more than one-third of millennials are unaffiliated with any faith. “We’ve known that the religiously unaffiliated has been growing for decades,” said Greg Smith, lead researcher for the study of more than 35,000 Americans, “but the pace at which More... 

Is there such a thing as ‘over-sharing’ on social media?

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: July 14, 2017   

ROGERS — Social media has been dubbed the new “opiate of the masses” by some critics. But, because these are uncharted waters, there are, as yet, no conclusive studies on the long-term effects this technology will have on our culture, our society or even our children. For the Baby Boomer generation and older, technology has been adopted into our lives, reluctantly by some and embraced by others. However, those younger are the digital natives who have More... 

Why parents should care about ‘13 Reasons Why’ series

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: May 23, 2017   

ROGERS — A Netflix online series, “13 Reasons Why,” is now the most-watched series since it premiered in March and it is probably the streaming service’s most controversial series too. The show, based on a 2007 young adult book with the same name by Jay Asher, follows a teenage girl, Hannah Baker, who leaves behind a manifesto of 13 audiotapes revealing why she decided to tragically end her own life. The series is rated “mature,” but its More...