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Young Leaders Initiative Preparation


Prepare for Your Trip

Greetings student leaders! We're delighted to welcome you to the Young Leaders Initiative at Catholic Social Ministry Gathering.

This page is to help you prepare for your trip. It includes:

Questions for Reflection on This Year's Theme
Tips from Previous Participants
Materials to Prepare for Hill Visits
What Should I Wear?
Social Media

Reflect with Pope Francis on This Year's Theme

Note: This section currently contains reflection materials for CSMG 2016. It will be updated for CSMG 2018 as soon as the conference theme is announced.

The 2016 theme is Called to Live Mercy in Our Common Home. As you prepare for your journey to CSMG, we encourage you to pray and reflect on these words from Pope Francis:

The one who experiences the mercy of God, is driven to be the creator of mercy among the poor and the least. In these "littlest brothers and sisters" Jesus waits for us (cf. Mt 25:40). Let us go to meet them!

- Pope Francis, Homily at Penance Service in St. Peter's Basilica, March 28, 2014

I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. . . . We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: "Everyone's talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God's creation." All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.

- Pope Francis, Laudato Si' (On Care for Our Common Home), no. 14

Questions for Reflection

  • What does the conference theme, "Called to Live Mercy in Our Common Home," mean to you?
  • How have you experienced the mercy of God? To whom might God be calling you to extend that mercy?
  • How are you, together with others on your campus, called to "live" mercy? To protect our common home? 
  • What special "talents and involvement" do you bring to the table?
  • Why does your faith call you to respond to suffering and injustice?


The full schedule for the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is here.

Don't miss the four events that are specifically for Young Leaders, which include:

  • Young Leaders Initiative (YLI) lunch (Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018)
  • YLI Community Workshop (Afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018)
  • YLI Meeting and Reflection (Evening of Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)
  • YLI Reception (Following the reflection on the evening of Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)

Tips from Previous Participants

Kévin, Dom and Edith, share some tips with you about visiting your members of Congress, learning, networking, prayer and reflection, and taking the message back to campus.

Prepare for Capitol Hill Visits

Visiting Capitol Hill to help influence your legislators is an important part of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering.Your state captain will set up meetings with legislators from your state. On Monday morning, you will have the chance to gather with other people from your state to assign speaking responsibilities at the meetings. Consider volunteering to present about one of the legislative "asks"!

Advocacy Guide for CSMG
More about the Hill Visits, including backgrounders about the CSMG advocacy issues

Students can feel free to join either the delegation from the state where your school is located, or the state that you consider your home. 


What Should I Wear?

On Saturday through Monday, most conference participants wear business casual clothing. For example, slacks or khakis, blouse or dress shirt, polo or open collar shirt, skirt at knee-length or below, knit shirt or sweater, are all examples of business casual clothing.

Save your most professional clothing for the Hill visits on Tuesday. Many participants will elect to wear shirt and tie and/or jacket on this day.

Social Media

Before, during and after CSMG, share your experience with your friends using these social media sites:

On Twitter, follow us #CSMG18.

Join our Facebook community.

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