VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Youth ministry is not about planning activities for young people, but about opening one’s eyes to their culture, walking alongside them and helping them discover the path God wants them to take, Pope Francis said.
If youth ministers strive to see young people and their cultures with the eyes of Jesus, they will see “not only the challenges and problems, but they will recognize the many seeds of love and hope scattered on the earth,” the pope wrote in a message to the European Meeting on Youth Ministry.
The meeting Dec. 11-13 in Rome was sponsored by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.
Pope Francis said youth ministers offer a precious service to the church when they provide young people with “adults and peers who are mature in the faith and will accompany them on their journey, helping them find the path that leads to Christ.”
“Much more than promoting a series of activities for young people, this pastoral work consists in walking with them, personally accompanying them in the complex and sometimes difficult contexts in which they are immersed,” he said.
The starting place, the pope said, has to be the real questions young people are asking. Youth ministers do not have to have all the answers, but they must be willing to enter into dialogue with the young people and help them see how they can have a relationship with Christ.
The process of dialogue and accompaniment, he said, also includes helping young people ask the questions they need to discern whether God is calling them to married life or to priesthood or religious life.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it with youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: