CONGREGATIO SS. REDEMPTORIS
Rome, July 16, 2017
Prot. N° 0000 121/2017
Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer
WITNESSES OF THE REDEEMER
“YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS, FAITH AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT”
SYNOD OF BISHOPS 2018 and WORLD YOUTH DAY 2019
Dear Young Adults, Confreres, Sisters, Lay Missionaries, Associates and friends,
We are now on the road towards the next Synod of Bishops in 2018. For this Synod, Pope Francis has chosen the theme of Youth and Young Adults, Faith and Vocational Discernment. Shortly after the conclusion of this Synod, the whole Church will celebrate the World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019. These are two very important events for the whole Church, and especially for the Redemptorist missionary family.
However, both events are much more than the celebrations which will take place at the Synod in Rome in October 2018 and the World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019. The Synod and the WYD invite all of us to make a pilgrimage of faith, reflection and response. I am writing you this brief letter to encourage your full participation, and to offer some simple suggestions about setting out on this journey.
- SYNOD 2018
For the first time, the Holy Father has specifically invited Youth and Young Adults respond to a questionnaire in preparation for the Synod. This questionnaire can be found on the internet at http://www.youth.synod2018.va. Pope Francis encourages not only members of our youth groups, or Redemptorist associates, but especially all young people including those who are disappointed with the Church, or not at all engaged with any Church group, to respond as honestly and openly as possible.
In this spirit, I encourage everyone of you to go to this page on the Vatican Website, open the questionnaire, answer as completely as you can, and encourage your friends, school companions, family members and others to do so as well. Read the preparatory documents, engage in the discussion, take part in the journey! Your voice will add greatly to the preparation and experience of the Synod and the discussions there.
- World Youth Day 2019
As you know, the next World Youth Day will be hosted in Panama from January 22 – 27, 2019. Now is the time to begin preparations for this special event. The week in Panama is only one part of the World Youth Day. To truly celebrate this event, Redemptorist Youth and Young Adult Ministry around the world can participate in a process of preparation, with Pope Francis, and with their brothers and sisters everywhere.
Some Redemptorist Youth and Young Adults will actually travel to Panama. There, they will also be invited to take part in an Alphonsian Day, prepared and hosted by the Province of Central America and the Redemptorist Family of Latin America and the Caribbean. More details will be provided later, however, preparations for groups travelling to Panama must begin now.
However, the vast majority of Redemptorist Youth and Young Adults will not make the journey in person. We encourage all to take part in this pilgrimage at home, through spiritual preparation and participation in the Youth Synod process, through prayer and reflection, and especially through concrete acts of mission and ministry. In many conferences, encounters and dialogues will also take part to bring together young adults from different countries and areas.
With the Synod and World Youth Day in 2019, the next eighteen months offer Redemptorist Youth and Young Adult Ministry, as well as Vocation Ministry, an intense period of preparation, discernment and participation in the pilgrim journey of the whole Church. I especially encourage all those entrusted with the leadership and animation of RYVM to take part wholeheartedly in this pilgrimage of faith.
May Our Mother of Perpetual Help, St. Alphonsus, all our Redemptorist Saints, blessed and martyrs, and especially Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger, accompany us on our way as we follow Jesus our Redeemer and brother. And may God bless you all.
Your brother in Jesus our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.