(Rome, Italy) – The Synod of Bishops on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” to be held from October 3 to 28, 2018 in the Vatican that has been preceded by the Pre-synod, which takes place in Rome from 19 to 24 March. The Pre-synod is a space promoted by Pope Francis, who has expressed the desire that this is a Synod not only “of” young people but “with” young people. For this reason, during this week about 315 young people from the five continents have interacted with the Pope expressing their feelings, hopes and recommendations. The conclusions of this pre-synod, along with the contributions received in the social networks will be included in a document for the writing of the Instrumentum Laboris, which in turn, will be the basis for the work of the Synodal Fathers in October.
Some young people from our communities have participated in the pre-synod. Some of them through social networks and some in person here in Rome, such as Ariany de Oliveira Leite, from Pai Eterno Parish of the Province of Goias, and Juliene Martins Barros from the city of Sao Bernardo, Brazil. During a short visit to the General Curia, they shared their experience with us.
They have noticed Pope Francis has insisted that young people should be protagonists in the history of this “Church that goes forth” (Church that goes out), and not be afraid of raising questions, or speak openly, because thinking and working as a church is an easier task when it is done in communion. This, according to them, is the best way to face the changing realities of the current world.
The leading role of the youth, as expressed by Ariany, can be seen in all those who participated in the pre-synod. For Ariany, one of the topics of discussion that most caught her attention was the need that young people have for accompaniment in their vocational discernment. For Juliene, on the other hand, the need to find languages for young people to express their faith, was another of the relevant topics. Both of them were deeply impressed by the fact that during the meeting, despite the cultural, linguistic and even differences in their religious convictions, the youth were united by common concerns, aspirations and hopes; all in a climate of great respect.
As it was mentioned before, some of the young people from our communities who are preparing for WYD Panama 2019, have also been linked to this meeting through social networks. So, Ariana and Juliene invite the redemptorist youth to continue to be linked to these events with optimism. And in the same manner, they encourage all those who will participate in WYD to move forward in the preparations despite the many occupations they may have.
And with this, we must not lose sight of the invitation of Fr. Michael Brehel, the Superior General, who already made in his letter of July 16, 2017. The Synod and WYD “will offer young Redemptorists and youth ministry, as well as vocation ministry, an intense period of preparation, discernment and of participation in a pilgrimage of the whole Church. “
Secretariat for Evangelization