Sedos Seminar on Youth and Mission

8th May 2018 - by Nathalie Marytsch

Three lay people from the Columban missionaries participate in the SEDOS Residential Seminar ‘Youth and Mission’.

Around one hundred religious missionaries consecrated, brothers, sisters, priests and three lay people from the Columban Missionaries gathered in Casa Divin Maestro, Ariccia, Rome, during last week in response to the Pope’s invitation to the Synod of Bishop on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The synod will take place in October 2018 and the following expresses its purpose, ‘ the church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognise 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 the Good News today. By listening to young people, the Church will once again hear the Lord speaking in today’s world.’

The group of missionaries gathered to continue deepening the understanding of the youth under the theme of Youth and Mission from the 30 April-4 May, 2018. The seminar started with a talk on the ‘Contemporary youth culture’, which helped the group to gain an insight into the characteristics of millennials (people born between 1980-2000): these insights not only I found helpful for the work I do, but also as I am a missionary parent of two millennials. Throughout the discussions and different inputs what came across strongly was a call to listen to and trust young people, to believe in them and to invite them to live faith with Joy. The church is called to trust in this generation, trust in the potential of young people and their vocation and also continue to witness joyfully to its beliefs in the midst of many intercultural challenges. Despite the ageing and diminishing numbers in congregations the church seeks to convey and attract young people by living out its vocation.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri head of the synod on young people gave the last input of the seminar. He outlined the processed followed so far in preparation for the synod and emphasised that the synod is about all young people, whether they are believers or not and about how the church can reach out to all. About three hundred young people gathered in Rome in March also as part of the preparations for the synod. The group was comprised of young people from different backgrounds and beliefs.