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Pope reflects on essential characteristics of youth ministry

May 27, 2024

» Continue to this story on Vatican Press Office

CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis reflected on the essential characteristics of youth ministry in a May 25 audience with participants in the International Youth Congress organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

The congress, convened in preparation for the 2027 World Youth Day in Seoul, included delegates who were selected by episcopal conferences and hailed from 110 nations.

“First, young people need to be helped to arrive at certain basic certainties in life, truths of the heart: ‘God is love,’ ‘Christ saves you,’ ‘He lives,’ and ‘the Spirit gives life,’” the Pope said. “These are the certainties but there is also another: Our Lady loves you because she is a mother.”

Youth ministry, the Pope continued, should be characterized by a spiritual discernment that is synodal, personal, and truth-oriented.

“Let me conclude on the importance of continuing to listen to young people,” he added. “A real listening, not one that is ‘half-hearted’ or merely ‘window dressing’ ... They should be made to feel that they are an active and full part of the life of the Church; and above all that they are called to be the first to bring the Gospel message to their peers.”

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