Christus Vivit in action: four years of IYAB

Created from the request of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the IYAB celebrates four years of service and collaboration with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life



From November 25-27, 2023, the fourth and final meeting of the first group of young consultants appointed to the International Youth Advisory Body (IYAB), an advisory body attached to the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, was held in Rome.

A term ends and new steps are taken

The meeting marked the end of the term of office of the first composition of this organ, which originated from a request of the 2018 Synod of Bishops: “The Synod asks that the active participation of the young become effective and ordinary in places of co-responsibility in the particular Churches and in the organs of the Episcopal Conferences and the universal Church.  It also asks that the activity of the Office for the Young in the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life be strengthened, not least through the constitution of an organ to represent the young at an international level.” (Final Document of the Synod of Bishops 2018, n. 123).

During the meeting, the young people discussed the work accomplished and - guided in their work by the Secretary of the Dicastery, Dr. Gleison De Paula Souza - they discussed the next steps to be taken, starting with a new composition of the team. The Secretary thanked the young people for their dedicated service and conveyed greetings from the Prefect, Card. Kevin Farrell. The youth group is made up of 20 young people from different countries of five continents. Ten boys and ten girls with very different ecclesial/pastoral experiences - a true workshop of synodality! “We learned to love each other through our differences; this made us learn a lot and grow together”, commented some of the members during the meeting.

Young people who have grown up together and are reference points in their local churches

An assessment of the four years of cooperation was, therefore, very positive. The young people underlined the way the work was done rather than how much was done. They were unanimously aware that they had grown together and had become, in many cases, reference points in their local churches, thanks to an active participation and co-responsibility requested by their pastors. The weekend agenda also included a meeting to listen to and exchange views with Sister Nathalie Becquart, Under-Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. IYAB youth have, in fact, participated in some important moments of the current synodal journey, both in their particular Churches and by working with the Holy See.

On the Sunday of Christ the King they could not miss participating in the 38th World Youth Day, celebrated by the Diocese of Rome with Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, presided over by Cardinal Vicar De Donatis. This year's theme is “Rejoicing in hope” (Rom 12:12), and Pope Francis addressed it further in his recent Message to young people.

At the end of the meeting, through tears of joy and already those of nostalgia, they conveyed their hopes that the leading role of young people would be increasingly recognized throughout the Church.

Towards the 5th anniversary of Christus Vivit

At a time when we are commemorating the five years of the Synod on Young People and will soon be celebrating the five-year anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, the Holy Father- in the same Message for the 38th WYD - invites young people and all youth ministry workers to take stock of the situation and to work “with hope for the full implementation of that unforgettable Synod”. In this regard, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is organizing an International Congress on Youth Ministry in May 2024.

30 November 2023