By Carol Zimmermann
BALTIMORE (CNS) — Young people
in the church want to be heard and be invited to be a part of church leadership,
according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in preparation
for next year’s Synod of Bishops on youth.
They are often at transition
points in their lives, yet they don’t know where to go for mentorship, Cardinal
Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, said Nov. 13.
He presented a summary of the responses
gathered from dioceses and Catholic organizations to the bishops during their
annual fall assembly in Baltimore.
The cardinal noted that pulling
together the responses of young people from high school age to young adults is
a challenge because of the group’s broad diversity and many different needs.
He also said the report affirms
a growing awareness of the challenges young people face today with economics,
anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse.
The cardinal pointed out that
the survey responses indicate that church leaders have work to do to walk with
young people and address challenges they face, but he also said there has been
some positive growth in young people’s faith, especially for those in high school
We have “talented leaders
out there doing incredible things with limited resources,” Cardinal
DiNardo said, adding that he is grateful for their enthusiasm and leadership.
The responses gathered by the
USCCB will be sent to the Vatican which is gathering survey responses from
young Catholics around the world.
The USCCB also is going to send
three young adults to the pre-synod gathering next March in Rome. In announcing
the meeting, the pope said: “The church wants to listen to the voices, the
sensibilities, the faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people.
We must listen to young people.”
The theme for the Synod of
Bishops, which will be held in October 2018, is: “Young people, faith and
Young people attending the
meeting will represent bishops’ conferences, the Eastern Catholic churches, men
and women in consecrated life and seminarians preparing for the priesthood. It
will also will include representatives from other Christian communities and
other religions and experts in the fields of education, culture, sports and the
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