a multicultural crowd of people cheering

What we do for the Catholic Church in the United States

With the blessing of Christ Jesus, and in service to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the USCCB Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth aims to provide support and outreach to dioceses, eparchies, and organizations across the United States of America in their pastoral work with youth and young adults and in their goal of advancing the Gospel with every generation.

The USCCB recognizes the vastness of the age demographic of "youth and young adults." What unites all young people in the Church is their youthful enthusiasm and energy, as well as the joys and challenges of transition, identity, and discovery. The Catholic Church's ministries with youth and young adults, inclusive of pastoral juvenil hispana, celebrate the prophetic spirit and forward movement of younger generations and offers pastoral care for those in these transitory moments of life.

Young people have a unique zeal for justice, faith, and the love of the Gospel, longing for truth and purpose, challenging convention and the status quo, and inspiring innovation and action. They inject a contagious energy into their societal and ecclesial communities and set hearts on fire. The Church cannot ignore youth and young adults for they are active witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ in the world today. As Pope Francis tells us, "Each young person's heart should thus be considered 'holy ground,' a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must 'take off our shoes; in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the Mystery." (Christus Vivit 67)


"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."

1 Timothy 4:12

Pope Francis arrives for a July 30 prayer vigil with World Youth Day pilgrims at the Field of Mercy in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

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.”

We recommend visiting our online guide for Christus Vivit, and our Upcoming Opportunities page for upcoming opportunities related to discussing and implementing Christus Vivit.

YYAM resources