Young Catholics and the Synod: Listening to Voices from Around the World

Statement to the members, auditors and observers of the 2018 Synod of Bishops
on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

Over the past two years, we have been involved in an international research project to study and engage best practices in student and young adult apostolates. We have collected good practices and models of small faith communities of, for, and by Catholic university students from over a dozen countries. Some of these are highlighted in a book, God’s Quad: Small Faith Communities on Campus and Beyond (Orbis Books, 2018). Along with the book, we have held “listening sessions,” most recently in Nairobi, New York, and Rome. Our goal is to engage more voices of young people in the process of the Synod. From these events and our research, six key messages surface.

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Summary of recommendations
1) We encourage the church to use the final propositions and outcomes of this Synod to spark greater reflections, analysis, and pastoral renewal on the role of young people in the local church.

2) We invite the synod to reflect deeply on the need for a holistic and integrated approach to youth and young adult ministry and to attend to the dangers of neo-pelagianism and neo-gnosticism in young adult engagement.

3) A. We invite the synod to reflect seriously on how authentic and representative are young people that can be invited to participate in ecclesial decision making structures at the parish, diocesan, national, and curial levels;

B. We invite all seminaries to involve young people in developing theological consortiums / seminary courses and/or theological workshops to train priests and lay leaders on how to effectively mentor and accompany young people and youth small Christian communities.

4) We invite each church structure to engage in a process of discernment to consider the pastoral and social needs of marginalized young people into their communities.

5) We invite more attention to be given to the power of the small communities in the life of the church. This includes highlighting good practices and the diversity of models.

6) We invite the Synod to pay more attention to the role played by youth-led youth and young-adult movements and associations to find ways to offer them support, including appointment of chaplains and financial support.

Read the full document here and share with the synod participants Youth Statement – Synod of Bishops



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