Summit to discuss how to involve youth in local Church

Friday, Oct. 04, 2019
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY — “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).

In March, Pope Francis released his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit, a response to the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on young people, faith and vocational discernment. The document, which calls young people to be missionary disciples, will be presented to youth leaders in the Diocese of Salt Lake City at a Youth & Young Adult Leadership Summit on Oct. 26.

The diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry invites all clergy, ministry leaders and their core teams, campus ministers and volunteers to participate in the event. Guest presenters will be Bishop Oscar A. Solis and Dr. Patricia Jimenez, who has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of youth ministry, catechesis, teaching and administering lay formation programs.

Jimenez will explain “the national dialogue with the young Church that is going around,” said Junuee Castro, director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.  

“And Bishop Solis will be talking about what he envisions for us in the Pastoral Plan. He will introduce it to us so we can see the many necessities, and work for and in them,” Castro said.

The purpose of this summit is hear about the needs of the various parishes and missions around the diocese, Castro said, adding that one of Pope Francis’s top priorities is “definitely youth and young adults. He is giving us this great opportunity to focus more on them with Christus Vivit.”

For the Oct. 26 summit, each parish/mission is encouraged to bring a delegation of at least five representatives.

“Because we wish to hear from the young Church, please ensure they are represented in your delegation,” Castro said. “We are inviting not only the youth ministers and their teams, we are inviting also the priests” because “it is important that they hear what their youth and young adults need.”

Those parishes and missions that do not have an active youth and/or young adults ministry are especially encouraged to attend the summit, Castro said.

“We want to bring the communities together. We want to hear what they want, what they need, so we can work from that and create workshops or events that deliver exactly what they want and need,” she said.

The event will include dialogue, listening sessions, networking and planning, she said.

Also at the summit the newly formed diocesan Youth and Young Adult Council will be  presented (see story, right.).

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