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To serve the United States Bishops, both collectively and individually, in their ministry to Youth and Young Adults.
Dominic Lombardi, STL
Executive Director, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth
Assistant Director for the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth
Youth and Young Adult Intern
Pope Francis launched a Synod process in October 2016, seeking to provide a Catholic response to the reality of young people in connection to faith, the community of the Church, and each one’s vocational calling. That journey continued through to the Synod of Bishops in October 2018 and the subsequent release of Christus Vivit, Pope Francis' post-synodal apostolic exhortation, in April 2019. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis writes “to young people and to the entire people of God,” and shares his insights on the accompaniment, engagement, and vocational mission of youth and young adults. We recommend visiting our online guide for Christus Vivit, and our Upcoming Opportunities page for upcoming opportunities related to discussing and implementing Christus Vivit.
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.
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 LightIn 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.
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
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 find themselves.
Read Sons and Daughters of the Light
View our diocesan list below to see if your diocese has a young adult ministry and how to contact them.
Please 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 ministry, etc.)
Note (Sept 2019): This document is temporarily unavailable for needed updates.
*If you notice that your diocese's information is incorrect or needs to be updated, please contact our office at email@example.com or 202-541-3044.
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.
The National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry hosts gatherings for all in the Church interested in improving ministry to and with young adults in the Church. Resources from these gatherings are available at the following links.
National Young Adult Ministry Summit
September 17-19, 2019
National Leadership Forum on Ministry with Young Adults
December 5-6, 2018
National Leadership Forum on Ministry with Young Adults
November 30 - December 1, 2016
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 (listed below). The chairperson of the team is Diana Hancharenko, who also serves as young adult minister for St. Angela Merici Parish in Youngstown, Ohio. Diana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advisory Team Members
Diana Hancharenko, Chairperson
St. Angela Merici Parish, Youngstown OH; Young Adult Minister
Tracey Lamont, Vice-Chair
Loyola University New Orleans, Assistant Professor of Religious Education
Michal Horace, Vice-Chair
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, Director of Young Adult Initiative
Bon Secours Young Adults Program Manager
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Director of Young Adult Ministry
i.d. 9:16, Director
Loyola University Chicago, Assistant Professor - Institute of Pastoral Studies
Diocese of Dallas, Director of the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries
Fr. Jonathan Kalisch, OP
Knights of Columbus, Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Director of the Office of Young Adults and Campus Ministry
Archdiocese of New York, Director of Young Adult Outreach
Diocese of San Diego, Director of the Office for Young Adult Ministry
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Director of Multicultural Ministry
Diocese of San Bernardino, Young Adult Programs Coordinator
Theology and Religious Studies Catholic University of America, Director for Summer Programs and Formation
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