Perhaps you have heard on the news or read an article that mentions the "Rise of the Nones" in the United States (and many other countries as well) wherein there are more and more people drifting away from Churches. It can cause a person, especially a parent or a youth minister, to become depressed. However, instead of wringing our hands and giving in to despair, Pope Francis decided that we should take some time to LISTEN to young people and ask about their ideas on Faith and Vocations... and find out what they think the Catholic Church does well, as well as where we can improve!
Right, let's find out what is going on in our parish/school/Catholic organization?
What is going on in the Diocese of Youngstown?
What is the lived experience in the United States?
And, what should the universal Church be paying attention to and doing?
The "Preparatory Document for the 15th Ordinary General
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops" states:
"The Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize
and accept the call to the fullness of life and love,
and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce
that Good News Today" (page 4).
To assist Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown in preparing his diocesan report,
the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry created 6 different surveys to collect input.
Parishes, Catholic High Schools and Catholic Institutions are asked to invite the following to participate:
1. Catholic teens (high school age)
2. Non-Catholic teens (high school age)
3. Catholic Young Adults (ages 19 - 30s)
4. Non-Catholic Young Adults (ages 19 - 30s)
5. Parents/Family members of teens and young adults
(soon to be available in Spanish as well as English)
6. Parish/School/Institution Leadership (a.k.a. parish staff, parish council, leadership council, faculty, etc.)
Surveys are linked through www.doy.org
(click on the Pope Francis Image)
Resources to help encourage participation are continually being added to:
and social media posts can be forwarded from the Y&YAM Facebook and Twitter feeds:
Like OY&YAM on Facebook: "Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Diocese of Youngstown"
Follow OY&YAM on Twitter: @YoungInYtown
As possible, holding a Listening Session Gathering can really help your local community capture input as well. For this, the planning guide spells out some steps one can take to host one,
discussion questions for small groups,
and you can then summarize your group answers and submit them to the diocese for further consideration.
Please pray for this process,
and continue to invite teens, young adults and parents to participate by JULY 31st.
Be sure to complete your own survey.
Then look for insights to be shared throughout the fall in our diocese!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.