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Community Found: Young Adult Catholic Identity and Commitment

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Published online on


["Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView. ", "\nAbstract\nThis article attempts to fill the gap in the sociological literature at the intersection of religion and community by examining how local, urban Catholic churches shape and nurture community commitment. My empirical research shows that the collective identity of young adult Catholics emerges from patterns of religious identity that are activated in church settings and defined through meaningful role identities established by the organizational framing and resonance of clergy leadership. As previous research has shown, participation in church activities and strong social connections within congregations contribute to greater voluntarism and commitment to the larger community. Further, collective efforts achieve greater success if the stated goals relate back to shared collective identities and an aspirational source of shared moral obligation that gives weight to the voluntarist commitment. The example of local Catholic churches highlights the importance of multidimensional social networks that can align collective identities with bespoke calls to action amid the evolving needs and aspirations of multiple groups and constituencies.\n"]