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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 and Young Adult Ministry Office in the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, aim to provide support and outreach to the Bishops in their Pastoral Work towards Youth and Young Adults in their goal of advancing the New Evangelization.
Dr. Andrew W. Lichtenwalner, PhD
Executive Director, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
Mr. Paul Jarzembowski
Coordinator for the Ministry to Youth and Young Adult
Youth and Young Adult Intern
For more information on the Catholic connection to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, refer to the USCCB Catholic Scouting Page
Read Apostolic nunico, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó's address
to the USCCB 2014 Fall Conference, and reflect on how the Church can
better present a challenging and rewarding lifestyle to young people in
In service to the Bishops of the United States, we, the Youth and Young
Adult 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 and in their goal of advancing the New
Youth are defined as young people ages 12-18 in junior high school or high school.
Young adults are defined as young people ages 19-39 who are single or married, divorced or widowed, and in college, working, unemployed, incarcerated, or in the military.
In Latino cultures, "jóvenes" are young people ages approximately 16-30 and ministry with them is called "pastoral juvenil".
The USCCB recognizes all these categories and understands the vastness of this age demographic. What unites them all is their youthful enthusiasm and energy, but also the challenges of transition and discovery. Youth and Young Adult and Pastoral Juvenil ministries celebrate the excitement and optimistic outlook of younger generations and offers pastoral care for those in transition.
1 Timothy 4:12
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."
Young people are essential members of the Body of Christ. They have a unique zeal for justice, faith, and love of the Gospel. They long for Truth, and they won't rest until they find it. They challenge convention and inspire innovation. Young people inject a contagious energy into their communities and set hearts on fire. We cannot ignore young disciples for they are active witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ in our world today.
Pope Francis has dedicated the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be focused on the theme of "Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment." It will be held in October 2018. "The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society."
In his address to the Fall Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, His Excellency Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States said that "Our Holy Father now direct our attention to young people...Young people need to be accompanied in discerning their path in life, but this accompaniment presupposes welcoming them to better integrate them into the life of the Church."
"The upcoming Synod and the preparation for it provide a window for us to learn from young people, to listen to them, to be with them, and to help them discover God's plan for them. Our presence will remind them that they matter; that they are a part of the family; that they belong . Rejecting the throwaway culture, we will give them reason to hope by assuring them that we are on the journey with them."
More information on the 2018 Synod on Young People can be found on the Synod webpage.
On February 22, 2018, Pope Francis released his message for the 2018 "World Youth Day" celebration (which is internationally celebrated on Palm Sunday, this year March 25). The theme of this year, which is aimed at all youth and young adults, is "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God" (Lk 1:30) .
The document is available in various languages on the Vatican website at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/youth/index.html.
In the message, he references the Synod and the preparation for World Youth Day. This is the second of three year cycle of WYD themes focused around discernment, vocation, and the Blessed Mother (Lk 1:49, Lk 1:30, Lk. 1:38). Last year, the Holy Father asked young people to reflect on their past and how "the Almighty has done great things" for them. This year, the Holy Father is encouraging young people to be aware of the present moment – not to be frightened by it or by their own self-doubts, but to take courage and be open to accepting the Lord's invitation to engage and to lead in church and in society.
It is in the name of God and of His Son, Jesus, that we exhort you to open your hearts to the dimensions of the world, to heed the appeal of your brothers, to place your youthful energies at their service.
The Church looks to you with confidence and with love. Look upon the Church and you will find in her the face of Christ, the genuine, humble and wise Hero, the Prophet of truth and love, the Compassion and Friend of youth.
"Fight against all egoism. Refuse to give free curse to the instincts of violence and hatred which beget wars and all their trains of miseries."The Church is anxious that this society that you are going to build up should respect the dignity, the liberty, and the rights of individuals. These individuals are you.
Build with enthusiasm a better world than what we have today!
"Who was it, then, to accept the Lord? The people. And who among the people had the first party? Who lit the fervor and joy of that gathering? Who knew how to interpret the greatness and the unique spirituality of the time? It was the young people!" -Palm Sunday Homily, Rome, 3 April 1966
"You are here as representatives of your age, as protagonists of your generations." -Palm Sunday Homily, Rome,
-WYD Rome,19 August 2000"In a very real sense, the twenty-first century...belongs to you. I ask you, therefore, to think carefully about the choices in life which you have to make." - Mass of the Holy Year of Redemption, St. Peter's Square, 1984
"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourself to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems." -World Day of Peace, 2012
"Make every effort to study conscientiously, to develop your talents and
to put them at the service of others even now...May your entire life be
guided by a spirit of service and not by the pursuit of power, material
success and money." - Message to Youth, 15 March 2012
"Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love!" -World Day of Peace, 2012
"God expects something from you, God wants something from you. God
hopes in you."-WYD Krakow 2016
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