Prepare for Your Trip

Greetings student leaders! We're delighted to welcome you to the Young Leaders Initiative at Catholic Social Ministry Gathering.

This page is to help you prepare for your trip. It includes:

Questions for Reflection on This Year's Theme
Tips from Previous Participants
Materials to Prepare for Hill Visits
What Should I Wear?
Social Media

Reflect on the 2019 CSMG Theme

The 2019 theme is Let Justice Flow (cf. Am. 5:24): A Call to Restore and Reconcile. As you prepare for your journey to CSMG, we encourage you to pray and reflect on Scripture and on the words of Pope Francis:

Read Amos 5: 9-14, 23-24.

  • What words, phrases, or images jump out at you from this passage?
  • Amos speaks of many injustices that are occurring in his society. How do these injustices relate to the injustice we see today?
  • What does God promise to those who seek good and do justice?
  • God offers a chance to reconcile with those who do injustice. What does reconciliation look like today?

Reflect with Pope Francis on This Year's Theme

"Jesus offers a justice other than that of the world, so often marred by petty interests and manipulated in various ways. Experience shows how easy it is to become mired in corruption, ensnared in the daily politics of quid pro quo, where everything becomes business. How many people suffer injustice, standing by powerlessly while others divvy up the good things of this life. Some give up fighting for real justice and opt to follow in the train of the winners. This has nothing to do with the hunger and thirst for justice that Jesus praises.

"True justice comes about in people's lives when they themselves are just in their decisions; it is expressed in their pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak. While it is true that the word "justice" can be a synonym for faithfulness to God's will in every aspect of our life, if we give the word too general a meaning, we forget that it is shown especially in justice towards those who are most vulnerable: "Seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow" (Is 1:17)."

-Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exultate, no. 78-79.

  • Pope Francis warns against being too general with the term "justice." What are the specific types of justice that you feel called to address?

  • How can your own—and others'—participation in encountering others, building community, and raising your voices, help the "pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak" around the world? What gifts do you bring? Where do you seek to grow?


The full schedule for the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is here.

Don't miss the four events that are specifically for Young Leaders, which include:

  • Young Leaders Initiative (YLI) brunch (Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019)
  • YLI Presented Community Workshop (Afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019)
  • YLI Meeting and Reflection (Evening of Monday, Feb. 4, 2019)
  • YLI Reception (Following the reflection on the evening of Monday, Feb. 4, 2019)

Tips from Previous Participants

Kévin, Dom, and Edith attended a few years ago, and here are some practical tips they learned from attending!

Prepare for Capitol Hill Visits

Visiting Capitol Hill to help influence your legislators is an important part of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering.Your state captain will set up meetings with legislators from your state. On Monday morning, you will have the chance to gather with other people from your state to assign speaking responsibilities at the meetings. Consider volunteering to present about one of the legislative "asks"!

Prep materials for CSMG Hill Visits, including backgrounders about the CSMG advocacy issues

Students can feel free to join either the delegation from the state where your school is located, or the state that you consider your home. 


What Should I Wear?

On Saturday through Monday, most conference participants wear business casual clothing. For example, slacks or khakis, blouse or dress shirt, polo or open collar shirt, skirt at knee-length or below, knit shirt or sweater, are all examples of business casual clothing.

Save your most professional clothing for the Hill visits on Tuesday. Many participants will elect to wear shirt and tie and/or jacket on this day.

Social Media

Before, during and after CSMG, share your experience with your friends using these social media sites:

On Twitter, follow us #CSMG19.

Join our Facebook community.