The Bishops of the world are meeting in Rome this month with Pope Francis together with observers to discuss the theme of Young People, Faith and vocational discernment.  Archbishop Eamon and Bishop Donal McKeown are attending this month long synod.

.Pope Francis noted: “The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society.”


This video explains what the synod is all about.



In October 2018 Catholic Bishops from around the world will meet in Rome to focus on how the church helps, guides and accompanies young people as they grow in faith and discern the part they can play in shaping the future of the Church.

The participants will take part in a Synod of Bishops meeting in the Vatican to discuss and debate the subject in question. In 2018 the theme is: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.  It is the fifteenth Ordinary General Assembley of the Synod of Bishops.

Ahead of the Synod, a preliminary outline document called a Lineamenta is prepared and distributed to all concerned for comment. Based on the responses to this, a working document – the Instrumentum Laboris – is released globally and acts as the basis for discussions at the Synod.

When gathered in Rome, the assembly examines the proposals, or propositiones, put forward by members and passes those that receive approval to Pope Francis. The Pope uses these as a guide for a post-synodal apostolic exhortation – a papal document often written following a synodal gathering of bishops.

The final version of the preparatory Working Paper for this synod is attached here.  Young people from all over the World met with Pope Francis and this document has been drawn up to form the basis of the work at the October Synod.

Download and read this doc.

Youth Synod working doc

This document was drafted by the young adults who participated in the Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome and was presented to Pope Francis on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Irish Episcopal Conference discusses Synod.

Synod of Bishops in Rome on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment

From today until 28 October Pope Francis will host a Synod of Bishops in Rome on the theme: ‘Youth, faith and vocational discernment’. 

The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world, gathered with the Holy Father, to share their wisdom and experiences in the common pursuit of pastoral solutions which have a universal validity and application.  Taking place every three years, this will be the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.  Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the President of the Bishops’ Conference and Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry, chair of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, are representing the Irish bishops at the Synod.

As part of the preparations for the Synod, bishops met with representatives of youth ministry from around the country to discuss key themes arising from a web-based consultation which they undertook with young people.  This involved feedback from 2,500 respondents. 

Arising from this information, bishops noted positive examples and obstacles facing young people regarding their faith and growing up in the contemporary world, such as:

–          young people face many challenges including peer pressure, mental health issues and from social media;

–          young people are passionate about justice, equality and fairness, and desire to be listened to even when their opinions are not in line with Church teaching;

–          many young people want to learn, experience and have a greater role in their faith, but sometimes struggle in achieving this; and

–          the positive experiences of chaplaincy services, pilgrimages and other dedicated national and international youth encounter events.

As they reflected on the importance of this year’s theme for the contemporary Church, and on the responsibility placed upon the Synod Fathers, bishops asked the faithful to join with them by praying the Prayer for the Synod by Pope Francis.

Lord Jesus in journeying towards the Synod,

your Church turns her attention to all the young people in the world.

We pray that they might boldly

take charge of their lives,

aim for the most beautiful and profound things of life

and always keep their hearts unencumbered.

Accompanied by wise and generous guides,

help them respond to the call

you make to each of them,

to realize a proper plan of life

and achieve happiness.

Keep their hearts open to dreaming great dreams

and make them concerned for the good of others.

Like the Beloved Disciple,

may they stand at the foot of the Cross,

to receive your Mother as a gift from You.

May they be witnesses to your Resurrection

and be aware that you are at their side

as they joyously proclaim you as Lord.



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