VATICAN CITY (CNS) – To reach young people and teach them the faith, Catholics must first show them that they are loved, “not just judged, discarded, or abused,” said a 29-year-old observer at the Synod of Bishops.
Yadira Vieyra, who works with migrant families in Chicago, told Vatican News Oct. 8 that the church needs to meet young people where they are. And while “a good portion” of the bishops at the synod are listening, she said, others are “still focused on preaching the truth to our youth.”
“Yes, it’s important to communicate the truth,” she said, “but also you can’t just communicate the truth without treating someone with love and care and attentiveness.”
According to Vieyra, the church’s message should be attentive to where youth are right now. It is important for the church to hear their needs and adapt its ministry so that they feel the church recognizes their humanity as well, she said.
In her small working group at the synod, she said she reminded the bishops that young people are not the same everywhere in the world. “I have made it a point to bring them back to the reality that not all of our youth are the same and their lives are not the same, not just in the U.S. but in other parts of the world.”
For example, Vieyra said, “In the U.S. not everyone is raised by a mother and a father, or in a heterosexual couple. And so, that’s important for us to be mindful of, because that’s where our youth are. And it’s important to honor their experiences and, again, minister to what life is like for them now and find a way to make them understand that they are so deeply loved by God and that he is just so excited to embrace them”
Recognizing what life is like for young people will help the church “find ways to meet them, whether it’s through social media, through more innovative, fun, happy catechesis,” Vieyra told Vatican News.
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: