WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairmen for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have expressed gratitude for the openness and honesty of the young adults who participated as delegates to the Pre-Synodal Meeting in anticipation of this October’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.
On March 19-25, 2018, over 300 young adults, representing episcopal conferences, ecclesial movements, apostolates, and religious and educational institutions, came together for a pre-synodal gathering convened by Pope Francis to discuss the experiences, challenges, and hopes of their generation. At the conclusion of the gathering, on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018, the participants presented a summary document of insights and recommendations to Pope Francis. This document will be utilized, along with episcopal conference consultations and online feedback from young people, in the development of the Instrumentum Laboris that will guide the October Synod.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, commented on the release of the document, saying, “It is inspiring to hear such a great desire on the part of young adults for active participation and involvement in the Church, and a deep desire to grow in their faith. I look forward to accompanying them on their vocational journey.”
The USCCB sent three young adult representatives to the Pre-Synodal Meeting: Br. Javier Hansen, FSC of the Lasallian Christian Brothers; Mr. Nick López of the University of Dallas; and Mrs. Katie Prejean McGrady of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. López also gave a ten-minute presentation on the state of youth and young adults in the Americas before the Holy Father and the Synod delegates. In addition, other delegates from the United States, nominated by their respective movements and institutions, included: Mr. Christian Huebner, seminarian from the Archdiocese of Washington; Rev. Nathaniel Johnson from the YOUTH 2000 movement; Ms. Nicole Perone from the Archdiocese of Hartford; Mr. Christopher Russo from the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic; Sr. Marie Faustina Paige Wolniakowski, RSM, from the Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michigan; and Ms. Cherise Klekar and Ms. Briana Santiago, in formation with the Apostles of the Interior Life.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, also said, “I am grateful that the delegates engaged in a robust dialogue and offered honest feedback for the bishops to consider in light of the upcoming Synod. I am particularly happy that the young adults are ready to work with the Church on better engaging their peers, especially those who have disconnected from the practice of the faith.”
The complete Pre-Synodal Document can be found online at the Vatican Synod website at: www.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/en/news/final-document-from-the-pre-synodal-meeting.html
The official USCCB web page for the Synod is www.usccb.org/synod-2018.