Diocese of Youngstown participates in Synod surveys

Staff report


Bishop George V. Murry wants high-school youths and young adults in the Diocese of Youngstown to be part of Synod of Bishops surveys on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

On Jan. 13, Pope Francis wrote to young people in the Catholic faith that a Synod of Bishops will take place in October 2018 on the topic.

“I wanted you to be the center of attention because you are my heart,” Pope Francis wrote. “The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard.”

Bishop Murry asked diocesan parishes and Catholic high schools to reach out and invite high-school teens, young adults age 19 to 30, their parents and family members as well as church leaders to participate by completing the surveys.

“I want us to be part of forming the documentation for the preparation for the synod,” the bishop said.

More than 150 surveys had been completed by June 15, said Cindee Case, director of the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

Case crafted seven different surveys to help capture the input needed for a diocesan report to be submitted to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who will in turn write a report to the Vatican that will be used for conversations at the synod.

The surveys are for Catholic high-school teens; non-Catholic high-school teens; Catholic young adults ages 19-30s; non-Catholic young adults ages 19-30s; parents/family members of teens and young adults in English; parents/family members of teens and young adults in Spanish; and parish staff and leadership in Catholic institutions.

Case said, “If you fit one of these categories, your input is crucial in helping the church gain a better understanding of the lives of young people and their views on faith, religion and vocational call. This is a unique opportunity to share with the bishops and pope what we think, feel and experience in our Catholic Church.”

A few parishes will host town hall-style meetings to discuss ways the church is and is not connecting with young people. Most parishes and Catholic high schools will be sharing the link to the surveys. Diocesan officials reminds people to check their local parish bulletin and website for further information.

Initially, the deadline for all input was July 31, but Bishop Murry extended that to Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, in order to encourage more participation.

For information on the Synod surveys, or other programs of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, contact Case at 330-744-8451 or ccase@youngstowndiocese.org.

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