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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 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.
The foundation of good Young Adult Ministry is Jesus Christ and the Gospel.To that effect, we have provided prayers, quotes, stories, reflections, and models of faith from Catholic tradition that can offer a solid foundation on which to build an effective and Christ-centered outreach to young adults in their 20s and 30s.
Our Spirituality of Young Adult Ministry page is currently under development. Please return soon for updated resources.
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. However, before they can be expected to
minister to the world, they themselves must first be effectively ministered to.
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. Though "Sons and Daughters of the Light" intends to guide
ministry to young adults in all areas in which they can be found (e.g.
campuses, military bases, peer communities, etc.), special attention is given to parish and diocesan
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
Pope John Paul II announced the institution of World Youth Day in December, 1985, as an annual gathering of youth and young adults (between the ages of 16-35) for prayer, worship and celebration of the Catholic faith. The event is observed annually in dioceses and every two to three years at an international gathering.
For 30 years, World Youth Day has been impacting the lives of young adults, allowing them to witness around the world to the Truth and life of the Catholic faith. To learn more about WYD 2016 in Krakow as well as other World Youth Day opportunities and information visit the official websites:
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.
Young Adult Ministry is the mission of the
Church across the United States.The
National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA) provides support,
networking, and resources for dioceses, parishes, campuses, movements, and
national Catholic groups and organizations whose ministry includes outreach to
those in their late teens, 20s, and 30s. Cincinnati Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer serves as NCYAMA's episcopal
Visit their website: NCYAMA.org
NCYAMA partnered with Busted Halo Ministries to develop a collection of the best practices in Young Adult Ministry called "Young Adult Ministry in a Box." This resource includes easy-to-follow young adult activities, tips from experienced veterans, a guide giving an overview and basics of the ministry, regular updates on new programs, and opportunities for mentorship with a professional ministry leader.
Learn more about the resource and sign up at: youngadultministryinabox.com
2014 Labor Day Statement by Archbishop Wenski
(Young Adults and Unemployment in the US)
If you have any questions, contact us:
via telephone at: (202) 541-3044 or (202) 541-3229
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