The Synod on Youth, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment ended in Rome on October 28, after a month of discussions, debates, writing, and voting. A lot of ink has been spilled about what happened, and you can read various perspectives on all the major Catholic news outlets. A lot was also said throughout the month, both from Synod Fathers, auditors and observers, and experts that were consulted. Here’s a round-up of ten powerful quotes from the Synod on Young People that are worth remembering.
1. Pope Francis’s opening address to the Synod Fathers
“Anointed by hope, let us begin a new ecclesial meeting One that can broaden our horizons, expand our hearts and transform those frames of mind that today paralyze, separate, and alienate us from young people, leaving them exposed to stormy seas, orphans without a faith community that should sustain them, orphans devoid of a sense of direction and meaning in life.”
2. Archbishop Chaput’s Intervention
“If we lack the confidence to preach Jesus Christ without hesitation or excuses to every generation, especially to the young, then the Church is just another purveyor of ethical pieties the world doesn’t need.”
3. Bishop Caggiano’s Intervention
“Let us work to capture the heart of all believers to encounter a God who does not promise a sterile but a life that is itself beautiful, rich in meaning, that invites one’s heart to dare to believe that this earthly life is worth living and worth fighting for in light of an eternal life where the restlessness of the heart will find its final rest in the salvation that alone comes from Christ Jesus the Lord.”
4. English Group D’s commentary on Part 2 of the Instrumentum Laboris
“Succinctly and with evangelical fervor, we should propose Jesus Christ, who preached the Kingdom of God, faced persecution and misunderstanding, performed miracles, called men and women to conversion of heart, suffered and died on the cross, and rose from the dead for our justification. This Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the pattern by which young people today ought to understand their own struggles, joys, and aspirations. As they see the whole of life in light of Christ, they will appreciate that they are summoned, above all, to love and to holiness.”
5. Pope Francis’s homily at the closing Mass of the Synod
“It is not Christian to expect that our brothers and sisters who are seekers should have to knock on our doors; we ought to go out to them, bringing not ourselves but Jesus. He sends us, like those disciples, to encourage others and to raise them up in his name. He sends us forth to say to each person: ‘God is asking you to let yourself be loved by him.’”
6 and 7. The letter of the Synod Fathers to the Young People of the World
“The Church is your mother; she does not abandon you; she is ready to accompany you on new roads, on higher paths where the winds of the Spirit blow stronger—sweeping away the mists of indifference, superficiality, and discouragement.”
“The Church and the world urgently need your enthusiasm. Be sure to make the most fragile people, the poor, and those wounded by life your traveling companions. You are the present; be a brighter future.”
8. Bishop Frank Caggiano on the “next steps” of the Synod
If we wish to engage youth and young adults in the life of our Diocese, then we must invite them to become protagonists in the work of our Church and not simply hand them a document to read.
9. Archbishop Muheria on his hopes for the Synod’s implementation
I hope this Synod brings more than just words, something like a flame that helps us Bishops to promote and listen more to young people. Our task is to help restore their hope, and let Jesus speak to them. Set their faith on fire.
10. Cardinal DiNardo on young peoples’ call to be more than medicore
“Young people may not always ‘get’ things of the Church, but they know who Jesus is and Jesus is not mediocre; He doesn’t want you and me to be mediocre. He wants us to follow Him to the Cross and only then to glory.”