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To serve the United States Bishops, both collectively and individually, in their ministry to Youth and Young Adults.
In service to the Bishops of the United States, We, the Youth Ministry Office in the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth aim to provide support and outreach to Bishops in their Pastoral Work towards Youth and Young Adults in their goal of advancing the New Evangelization.
Dr. Andrew Lichtenwalner, PhD
Executive Director, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth
Mr. Paul Jarzembowski
Assistant Director for the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth
Youth and Young Adult Intern
Young adults are persons in their late teens, twenties, and thirties who represent diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, vocational, social, political, and spiritual backgrounds. They are college students, workers, and professionals; they are persons in military service; they are single, married, divorced, or widowed; they are with or without children; they are newcomers in search of a better life.
The Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment will take place in October 2018. For more information, visit the Synod webpage.
In service to the bishops of the United States,
the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth aims to provide
support and guidance for the pastoral work towards youth and young adults in
light of the New Evangelization.By
connecting with dioceses and Catholic youth and young adult ministry
organizations across the United States, the USCCB offers a network of resources
and information that can foster growth in the Church's outreach and ministry
with youth and young adults.
"There are many opportunities to touch the lives of young adults, and these should be seen as moments for evangelizing outreach. Some of these may require a change in the way we approach evangelization so our outreach is more dynamic, taking the Church into the community where young adults gather rather than waiting for these men and women to come to us." -Sons and Daughters of the Light
In ministry and catechesis with young adults, several important themes need to be emphasized: the formation of conscience, education for love, vocational discernment, Christian involvement in society, missionary responsibility in the world, the relationship between faith and reason, the existence and meaning of God, the problem of evil, the Church, the objective moral order in relation to personal subjectivity, the relationship between man and woman, and the social doctrine of the Church.
For more details, read the complete entry on "Catechesis of Young Adults" from the National Directory for Catechesis; USCCB, 2005.
In 1996, on the eve of the third millennium, the bishops of the
United States promulgated "Sons and Daughters of the Light," a document on
pastoral ministry to young adults. Young adults, who range from 18-39 years of
age, make up a large part of the Church and have the potential to contribute
greatly toward the Christian mission. Noting that outreach to young adults has been largely neglected in the past, and that young
adults provide a valuable and unique perspective to and for ministry that must
be seriously considered, the U.S. bishops aimed to create a strategic plan to
integrate young adults into the life of the Church in America, by taking into
careful consideration the various stages of life and circumstances in which young adults
Gracious and Loving God,
Help these young men and women to be a light for all the world to see,
in all the places they live and work. Let their light shine for all peoples:
for their families,
for their church communities,
for their cultures and societies,
for the economic and political systems,
for the whole world.
Coming into the room where the disciples were gathered after the resurrection,
"Jesus, your son, said: Peace be with you!" (Jn 20:21).
Make these men and women bearers of Christ's peace.
"Blessed are the peacemakers,
Teach them the meaning of what was said on the mountain:
for they shall be called sons and daughters of God" (cf. Mt 5:9).
Send them, Father, as you sent your son:
to free their brothers and sisters from fear and sin.
We ask this of you, in Christ's name. Amen.
Adapted from the Papal Homily for WYD 1995, Manila
After two major gatherings with young adults on Palm Sunday in 1984 and 1985, St. John Paul II announced the institution of a regular "World Youth Day" in December, 1985, as an annual gathering of youth and young adults (between the ages of 16-35) for prayer, worship, service, and a celebration of Christ and the Catholic faith. The event is observed annually in dioceses and every three years at an international gathering.
The name of the event ("World Youth Day") may be misleading for some - as the word "youth" in the United States connotes teenagers (junior high and high school students). However, the key audience for WYD is both older youth and especially young adults. The age range is 16 to 35. The majority of U.S. pilgrims that attend WYD are between 18 and 25.
For over 30 years, World Youth Day has been impacting the lives of young adults, allowing them to witness around the world to the Gospel and to the Catholic faith. The most recent international WYDs over the past decade have been held in Krakow, Poland (2016), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013), Madrid, Spain (2011), and Sydney, Australia (2008). The two World Youth Days in North America, where the U.S. had the most youth and young adults attend, were in Denver (Colorado), USA in 1993, and Toronto (Ontario), Canada in 2002. The next international World Youth Day will be held in Panama City, Panama, in January 2019.
To learn more about the upcoming World Youth Days (in 2017, 2018, and internationally in 2019), well as other WYD opportunities and information, visit the official websites (for the USA engagement and for the international event):
View our diocesan list below to see if your diocese has a young adult ministry and how to contact them.
note that not every diocese has a webpage, or sometimes even an office
appointed for young adult ministry. For such dioceses on this list,
the links provided direct you to the office that currently handles young
adult ministry (e.g. adult faith formation, evangelization, youth
*If you notice that your diocese's information is incorrect or needs to be updated, please contact our office for edits.
Busted Halo Ministries, in collaboration with the national and diocesan young adult ministry leaders, has developed a collection of the best practices in young adult pastoral ministry and evangelization called
"Young Adult Ministry in a Box." This resource includes
easy-to-follow young adult activities, tips from experienced veterans, and a guide
giving an overview and basics of the ministry field.
Learn more about the resource and sign up at: youngadultministryinabox.com.
In 2016, the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have set up a special National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry to serve as nationwide network, resource group, and consulting body on the issues of young adult ministry and evangelization. This was developed in the wake of the dissolution of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA), which served Catholic leaders across the United States 1982 to 2016. The Advisory Team's mandate from the Committee includes:
The Advisory Team is comprised of about 20 parish, campus, diocesan, and organizational representation from across the United States. The chairperson of the team is Mr. Nicholas Stein, who also serves as the coordinator of young adults for the Bon Secours religious community. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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