To find Catholics who have left the church, start looking at the faces in the pews, according to a recent report.
Following the Francigena Way, an ancient pilgrims’ path, a group of about 300 synod participants and young people from Rome parishes headed to St. Peter’s Basilica to pray at the apostle’s tomb.
To reach young people and teach them the faith, Catholics must first show them that they are loved, “not just judged, discarded, or abused,” said a 29-year-old observer at the Synod of Bishops.
Young people should have a right to migrate but should never be forced to do so, said an Italian cardinal at the Synod of Bishops.
Brazilian Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, relator general of the synod, introduced the synod’s work Oct. 3, urging the bishops to pray for “the gift of a healthy spiritual uneasiness,” recognizing that while the church has some programs that help some young people, much more needs to be done.
Bishop Michael G. Duca of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found the young adults at his table to be “honest, hopeful.”
As a delegate to the Region II encuentro held recently in Albany, Daniel Solares echoed a message youth ministers have been sharing around the country during the process leading up to the National Fifth Encuentro to be held this fall.
I have long believed that the greatest poverty in this world is a lack of recognition of our own dignity and that of those around us.
In a message sent Dec. 1, the pope said to foster vocations, the church must trust young people who, “despite belonging to the ‘selfie’ generation, look for full meaning in their lives, even when they do not always look for it where it can be found.”
Pope Francis has invited Christian and non-Christian young people from around the world to a meeting in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018.