The Synod is underway and dialogue about the young people is being unpacked in a way it has never been explored before by bishops around the world. Many American representatives are in Rome this month listening, speaking, and joining the dialogue. As the Synod continues, we wanted to share their words and thoughts thus far with you:
"We can't love who we don't know." Jonathan Lewis, Executive Director of Evangelization, Young Adult Ministry, and Chaplaincies for the Archdiocese of Washington was invited to address Pope Francis and the Bishops earlier this month. He challenged those present by asking, "how many young people do you know by name...Spiritual mentorship was the method of Jesus, the method of the saints, and should be our method today". Coming back to the theme of accompaniment, our young people are longing for mentors, people who will walk alongside them in the journey of faith and discernment. How many young people in your parish do you know by name? Click here, to read Jonathan Lewis' full address to the Synod fathers.
"Young people want someone to walk with them." Bishop Frank Caggiano, one of the Synod Fathers from the Diocese of Bridgeport joined the USCCB staff to report via Facebook Live about the Synod thus far. For him, the Synod has been a moment of Grace. It has been an encouragement to him to see the energy that the young people have brought to the Synod and how Pope Francis has accompanied the young people in this journey by meeting them, being with them, and dialoging with them between sessions. Caggiano challenges youth and young adult ministers by stating, "it's not about the destination or the journey, it's both. Walk with someone as they are moving towards somewhere, and that somewhere is Jesus Christ." Follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Facebook for Synod updates, articles, and videos reported directly from Rome.
This Synod has brought to surface many topics about young people that we are excited to share with you in the coming months. As the Synod continues, let us join in prayer with the rest of the Synod by praying this prayer for young people given to us by Pope Francis.
Lord Jesus, in journeying towards the Synod, your Church turns her attention to all the young people of the world. We pray that they might boldly take charge of their lives, aim for the most beautiful and profound things of life and always keep their hearts unencumbered. Accompanied by wise and generous guides, help them respond to the call you make to each of them, to realize a proper plan of life and achieve happiness.
Keep their hearts open to dreaming great dreams and make them concerned for the good of others. Like the Beloved Disciple, may they stand at the foot of the Cross, to receive your Mother as a gift from you. May they be witnesses to your Resurrection and be aware that you are at their side as they joyously proclaim you as Lord. Amen.