Register Radio - Igniting Young People’s Faith and Church Architecture

This week on Register Radio, Dan Burke talks with author and speaker Matthew Kelly about his work to ignite the faith of Catholic youth.. and later in the show Dan and architect William Heyer discuss how architecture can draw Church communities heavenward.


Matthew Kelly on Igniting Young People’s Faith

Author and speaker Matthew Kelly has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations become the-best-version-of-themselves®. Born in Sydney, Australia, he began speaking and writing in his late teens while he was attending business school. Since that time, more than four million people have attended his seminars and presentations in more than fifty countries. Today he is an internationally acclaimed speaker, bestselling author, and business consultant. His books have been published in 25 languages, have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, and have sold in excess of five million copies. 

The Matthew Kelly Foundation was established in 1995 to help young people discover their mission in life. Over the past 15 years Kelly has visited several hundred high schools, inspiring students to use their lives to make a contribution.

“Decision Point is the ultimate Confirmation experience for Catholic youth,” Kelly said. “We discovered in the research that 85 percent of young people stop practicing their faith within seven years of being confirmed.”

Kelly and his team set out to “do something about that,” and he said that “Decision Point is our response to that problem,” he said.

“We’re hungry for best practices, we’re committed to continuous learning, and we’re very, very interested in discovering how we translate the genius of Catholicism to the everyday person,” Kelly said. With Decision Point, then, they identified the huge problem, in part by looking at the way so many children and young people are lost between baptism and the seven years after Confirmation.

The team at Dynamic Catholic spent a year of researching existing programs and interviewing a wide variety of people, including parents, students, bishops, priests, and catechists.

“Any person, any parish in America can go to, [and] request a free copy of the program. The only thing they have to pay for is the shipping,” Kelly said. “The reason that came about is because when we set about to create the best Confirmation program in the world, there was a staff debate over what’s the point of building this if half the parishes can’t afford it, so let’s find a way to give it to every parish in America for free. Our donors at Dynamic Catholic have paid for it. Any parish in America can get it for free.”


William Heyer on the Spirituality of Church Architecture

Architect William Heyer is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and six children. Through his work on sacred spaces, he seeks to remind people that Catholic architecture is supposed to point man heavenward. William has been part of the design and restoration of chapels and oratories around the country for the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, a Society of Apostolic Life of the Pontifical Right, whose US headquarters are in Chicago. 

In a recent Register article Heyer spoke about taking the laws of architecture and “supernaturalizing” them.

“There are elements in nature that God created that are reflective of beauty, that reveal beauty in many ways. Architecture is a way that also reflects beauty in imitation of nature,” Heyer said. “If God created the natural world, and our buildings are meant to reflect the beauty of God, then we are going to use elements that are visible to us to help reflect the beauty we understand of God.”

That’s where it starts, according to Heyer. Architecture prepares our soul as we come into worship. Truth, goodness, and beauty are all aspects of divinity and God. They reveal God through different means, Heyer explained.

“Architecture begins with rules. These rules were established in nature,” according to Heyer. “Some of those rules include things like proportion and propriety. Those rules have been handed down over millennia, from even pre-Christian times. Ancient cultures understood this idea of decorum or propriety, appropriateness for certain things. Those rules had been established to avoid things like where you have an image of Christ or a saint that is not congruous nor is it pleasing to the eye, because it’s not following the rules of beauty.”

You can learn more about Heyer’s work at

Listen to this week’s show online or on your mp3 player.