Pope Francis’ effect on millennials

Pope Francis is in America.

With the historic arrival of the head of the Catholic Church comes plenty of thinkpieces about the impact of the man also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. One common thread: he’s good with millennials.

Yes, he seems to know how to talk to young people. And he knows talk is cheap – his lifetime of service, of doing good works for the poor and underrepresented registers high for millennials.

More importantly, though, is this piece from NPR about the increase in 25-34-year-old Catholic seminary students:

Of the more than 3,000 men in seminary now, the percentage of those 34 or younger has risen to more than 75 percent, according to data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. From 2000 to 2005, that figure hovered around 65 percent. The greatest growth has been among 25- to 29-year-olds.

And more than anything, this could show that the Catholic Church may see a resurgence in membership 5-10 years down the road.

As millennials settle into family life and begin having children, spirituality could begin to gain traction as a major part of their lives. And plenty of it has to do with the Church installing the right pope at the right time.