Last week, I had the honor or representing our diocese at the Annual Membership Meeting of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. This is nothing new as I have done so since I became the Director of the OY&YAM, as did the previous directors. What was new and exciting this year though was having Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States (i.e. like the Vatican Ambassador.)
He kindly took time to thank all of us that work with young people in America.
He shared the excitement he had during the October Synod of Bishops on the theme of "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment" as well as the recent World Youth Day events in Panama.
He encouraged us all to reflect on the well known Emmaus story,
focusing on "recognizing, interpreting and choosing" especially as we journey with young people discerning God's call for their lives.
We must continue to bear witness to the Good News.
We must take time to listen to and really hear young people.
And to help them hear the voice of God.
And to encourage the young people to choose to engage in a personal relationship with God,
while walking with our faith community.
Archbishop Pierre promised to communicate our best wishes as youth workers on the USA back to Pope Francis, along with our prayers. May the Holy Spirit continue to bless us all as the follow up work of the Synod continues through our relationships, witness, listening and accompanying of the young people!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.