Pope Francis has issued a Letter to Young People of the World.

Pope's Letter to Young People

on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Preparatory Document

of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

My Dear Young People,

I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment." I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart. Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your "compass" on this synodal journey.

I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to "go", to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God's voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.

When God said to Abram, "Go!", what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this "new land" for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?

But unfortunately, today, "Go!" also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf.Ex 2:23).

I would also remind you of the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked him: "Teacher [...] where are you staying?" He replied, "Come and see" (Jn 1:38). Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God's plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich inmercy, will extend his hand to pick you up.

In Krakow, at the opening of the last World Youth Day, I asked you several times: "Can we change things?" And you shouted: "yes!". That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a "throw-away culture" nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves! Even when you feel, like the prophet Jeremiah, the inexperience of youth, God encourages you to go where He sends you: "Do not be afraid, [...], because I am with you to deliver you" (Jer 1:8).

A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Churchalso wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because "the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best." (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).

Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to "work with you for your joy'' (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God's call with the words: "Here I am" (cf. Lk 1:38).

With paternal affection,

FRANCIS

Given at the Vatican, 13 January 2017

Back to List


More News


17.01.2019

Executive Director, Centacare NQ

Executive Director, Centacare NQ   Under the leadership of the Bishop of Townsville, Most Reverend Timothy Harris DD, Centacare NQ is a social service ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Townsville. Since its formation in 1979, Centacare NQ has grown to ...

Read Full Article
20.12.2018

Youth Worker Position Available

Diocesan Youth Ministry Support Worker The Catholic Diocese of Townsville is seeking to appoint a part-time (22 hours per week) Catholic Youth Ministry Support Worker. We are seeking an energetic, enthusiastic and passionate Catholic individual committed to m...

Read Full Article
17.12.2018

Report outlines Church’s progress since Royal Commission ended

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia have submitted a joint report to the National Office for Child Safety (NOCS) on the Catholic Church’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Instituti...

Read Full Article
22.10.2018

Catholic Church stands with Prime Minister, renews apology

Catholic Church stands with Prime Minister, renews apology The leaders of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) have welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s apology to survivors of institutional child s...

Read Full Article
31.08.2018

Catholic Church Response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Statement from Most Rev. Tim Harris Catholic Bishop of Townsville Regarding the response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Today Archbishop Mark Coleridge on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops&rsquo...

Read Full Article
21.08.2018

Australian Bishops welcome message from Pope Francis

Statement from ACBC President Archbishop Mark Coleridge The Catholic Bishops of Australia welcome the Letter to the People of God that Pope Francis has written regarding sexual abuse in the Church. We share the Holy Father’s determination to protect youn...

Read Full Article
29.03.2018

BREAKTHROUGH Youth Camp

Bored in the Holidays and want to have an awesome experience? Come to Ryan for the Breakthrough Youth Camp for fun, games, recreation, inspiring inputs, live music. Hang with others your own age and see how faith helps us live an epic life. Location is R...

Read Full Article
19.03.2018

Pope Francis back decision to hold Plenary Council in Australia

Pope Francis approves Australian Plenary Council  Pope Francis has given his approval for the Catholic Church to hold the first Plenary Council – the most significant national gathering that can be held – in Australia in more than 80 years. &...

Read Full Article
More Links in this section