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Our Mission

To serve the United States Bishops, both collectively and individually, in their ministry to Youth and Young Adults.

Our Vision

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.

Our Staff

Mr. Dominic Lombardi, STL
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

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News and Events

For more information on the Catholic connection to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, refer to the USCCB Catholic Scouting Page

Read the new Apostolic Exhortation to Young People “Christus vivit – Christ lives” and find resources on the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocation.


Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Pilgrims cheer during the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)Pope Francis embraces a young woman during the World Youth Day welcoming  ceremony on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)World Youth Day pilgrims hold rosaries and icons as they wait for Pope Francis to arrive. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)world-youth-day-sydney-cns-montage

CHristus Vivit: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

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.


On Monday, April 6, 2020 (Pier Giorgio’s Birthday) or at any point during Holy Week, join in praying this Way of the Cross wherever you are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Keep in mind the global community that is praying alongside you through the intercession of Pier Giorgio Frassati.

Important Resources

World Youth Day  

Youth and Young Adult Documents   

Resources for Young People

Our Vision

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 Evangelization.


Our Work


Youth are defined as young people ages 12-18 in junior high school or high school.

Young Adults

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.

Pastoral Juvenil

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.

Guiding Image

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.

2018 ordinary general assembly of the synod of bishops: youth, Faith and Vocational discernment

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."

"Young people bring with them energy, creativity, sensitivity and generosity of spirit. Many are eager to serve."                        Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

"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.

Pope francis releases world youth day message

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.

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. 

The Church's Message to Young People

VATICAN II's MESSAGE TO Young People (1962-65)

"Lastly, it is to you, young men and women of the world, that the Council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders.

-Blessed Paul VI, Closing of Vatican II 1965

Pope John XXIII leads the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 11, 1962.  CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo.

Second Vatican Council's Closing Message to Youth, 7 December 1965

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!


Wisdom from our Popes

St. Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)

Blessed Paul VI. CNS Photo"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,


St. Pope John Paul II (1978-2005)

"You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope!"

-St. John Paul II to youth during his Installation Ceremony, 1978

Pope John Paul II waves as he arrives at Miami International Airport at the start of his 1987 trip to the United States.  (CNS photo/Joe Rimkus Jr.)

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

"It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”

- 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
"You, young people, are especially called to become missionaries of this New Evangelization, by daily witnessing to the Word that saves. You personally experience the anxieties of the present historical period, fraught with hope and doubt, in which it can at times be easy to lose the way that leads to the encounter with Christ." - WYD Manila, 1995

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (2005-2013)

Dear young people,  you are a precious gift for society!

-Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace, 2012


"This is particularly true for you, because youth is a time of continuous discovery of life, of the world, of others and of ourselves. It is a time of openness to the future and of great longing for happiness, friendship, sharing and truth, a time when we are moved by high ideals and make great plans." - Message to Youth, 15 March 2012

"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

Pope Francis (2013-Present)

"The Lord does not keep his distance, but is near and real. He is in our midst and he takes care of us."

-Pope Francis, WYD Krakow, 2016

Pope Francis embraces a young woman during the World Youth Day welcoming  ceremony on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)


"The fact is, God loves us even more than we love ourselves. He believes in us even more than we believe in ourselves. He is always "cheering us on"; he is our biggest fan." - World Youth Day, Krakow 2016

"It is Your life that Jesus wants to enter with His word, with His presence. Please, let Christ and His word enter your life, blossom and grow." - WYD Rio de Janeiro, 2013

"A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master" - Pope Francis' Letter to Young People on the Occasion of the presentation of the 2018 Synod preparatory document"What do I expect as consequence of the Youth Day? I expect a mess. I want a mess in the dioceses! I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street!" - World Youth Day 2013 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil"Spread your wings and fly, but also realize that you need to rediscover your roots and to take up the torch from those who have gone before. To build a meaningful future, you need to know and appreciate the past" - Message for the 32nd WYD, 2017

"God expects something from you, God wants something from you. God hopes in you." - WYD Krakow 2016

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