My millennial age son often sarcastically thanks me and my generation for doing one heck of a job with the world. He realizes we are leaving him and his peers with global warming, mass shooters, bizarrely dysfunctional politics and a general disregard for human life. As for church matters, he throws in clergy sex abuse and never-ending Catholic squabbles, which he declares, again cynically, are a really effective advertisement for Jesus.

Guilty as charged.

Millennials take guff for being lazy and uncommitted. I suspect young people, including Baby Boomers like me, have been viewed that way for centuries. Whatever the case, most millennials I meet in our parishes have clear vision and hearts primed to fight for what is good, true, just and beautiful.

When it comes to volunteering for good causes, millennials are doing it more and more while other generations are doing it less and less. A recent report showed that a third of millennials volunteered more than 11 hours or more in the past year. Another study found that 46 percent of millennials volunteered in the previous month for a social cause they believed in. Oregon millennials rank eighth in the nation for volunteering among their age group, according to the U.S. Corporation for National Service.

This is all to say that, while previous generations got caught up in careers and making themselves comfortable and happy, millennials might be just right for the mission ahead.   

I suspect millennials will continue to volunteer. Maybe they will use advanced science to help our planet and to make discoveries in psychology and sociology that will heal the psychic wounds and help us cooperate instead of murder and fight.

As for millennial Catholics, we pray more and more will do what Archbishop Alexander Sample often says — find not what they want to do, but what God wants them to do.

There is a good chance that young people will bring the rest of us along on the path that God intended.