20 May 2020
The work of the International Youth Advisory Body begins
On Saturday 16 May, the members of the International Youth Advisory Body met via videoconference to begin their common work—an important phase in the implementation of the Synod of 2018 on youth, faith, and vocational discernment. The twenty members of this group established by our Dicastery, coming from different regions of the world, met with the Prefect, the Secretary, and members of the Youth Office though a videoconference. Together they began a reflection in the ways in which their experiences and their youthful perspective can enrich the service which the Dicastery carries out for the Church.
“You are directly involved in the world of young people today. And we need you today more than ever. The Church needs you. This is not just the desire of the Church, it is the desire of the Holy Spirit,” the Prefect of the Dicastery, Card. Kevin Farrell, said to the young people during the videoconference. The young people emphasized their enthusiasm after this first online meeting.
“Three ideas express my impression of this, our first meeting,” explained Émile Abou Chaar, from Lebanon: “The Holy Spirit is on the move and has not ceased to act since the Synod on youth; we have a strong motivation to witness the ecclesial reality of youth from around the world; and we have a great responsibility in carrying out this mission.”
“It is clear that we are ready and excited to carry out our mission within this Body, and I can’t wait to see what awaits us,” added Dominique Yon, Coordinator of Youth Chaplaincy in the Archdiocese of Cape Town in South Africa.
The common starting point of the projects of the Youth Advisory Body are the Apostolic Exhortation “Christus vivit” and the final document of the 2018 Synod, as well as the identification and in-depth study of issues which are particularly close to the hearts of today’s young people. The reflections of the group will also extend to various other aspects of the mission and objectives of the Dicastery—presented by the Secretary, Fr. Awi Mello—for which the young members have already shown their interest and capability.
“Today was a good start. It is a sign of the hope of Christ who lives in the hearts of young people. A mosaic representative of the universality of the Church,” summarizes Fr. João Chagas, head of the Youth Office of the Dicastery.
The creation of the International Youth Advisory Body was announced last year on the Solemnity of Christ the King. The members, all under thirty years of age, were appointed for a three-year term.