Friday, September 29, 2017

Synod 2018 - A message from Neil...

As we build towards the Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocation in October 2018, we are encouraging all pastoral areas and parishes to listen to young people and the issues they face.

Pope Francis, in calling this synod has placed young people at the heart of the Church, saying

“My dear young people, I want you to be the centre of our attention, you are in my heart, make your voice heard” 

In all our conversations with young people on the subject of Church never is their first question, “we want to hear what the church says about…”. This is always secondary. By far the loudest statement is “The Church will not listen to us”. So Church, let us listen!

Young people have real lives, with real challenges and they also know how to love life – we can learn a thing or two from them. In listening to them we will need to ask them questions, some questions we will not like the answers to but let’s just listen.

Within my role as the Director of Youth Ministry, I see on a daily basis how much the Church, our Bishop, clergy, youth ministers and the entire Church love and care for young people. I see how much time adults, across our diocese, spend talking about the faith of young people. Our challenge over the next 18 months is to make sure that they know this. 

What a privilege it is to have a voice that can be heard. So if you are a youth minister, parent, grandparent, priest, deacon, bishop, teacher or someone who cares about young people, our faith and vocation, LISTEN and you can make a difference with them.