A document released by the Pre-Synodal Meeting of Young People was presented in the Vatican last month, following a week-long meeting opened in the presence of Pope Francis.
The Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” will take place in the Vatican in October 2018.
The document is divided into three parts: the first part deals with the challenges and opportunities of young people in today's world; the second on faith and vocation, on discernment and on the accompaniment of young people; the third on the Church's formative and pastoral activities.
Approximately 15,300 young people from around the world took part in the meeting - physically or virtually - representing their peers all over the world.
If you would like to read the document it can be found here and includes lots of useful insights into the reality of young people.
For instance, it notes about the formation of personality that:
Young people look for a sense of self by seeking communities that are supportive, uplifting, authentic and accessible: communities that empower them. We recognise places that are helpful for the development of their personality, namely family, which occupies a privileged position. In many parts of the world, the role of elders and reverence for one’s ancestors are contributing factors to the formation of their identities. However, this is not shared universally, as traditional family models in other places are in decline. This leads to young people suffering as well. Some young people move away from their family traditions, hoping to be more original than what they see as “stuck in the past” and “old fashioned.” On the other hand, in some parts of the world, young people seek identity by remaining rooted within their family traditions and striving to stay true to the way they were raised.
The Church therefore needs to better support families and their formation.
Later on it reflects on the pressures of work and prospects for the future, saying:
In some parts of the world, the only way to attain a secure future is to receive higher education or work excessively. While this is a commonly held standard, it is not always possible due to a variety of circumstances young people find themselves in. This idea is a prevalent notion and has consequently affected our understanding of work. Despite this reality, young people wish to affirm the inherent dignity of work. Sometimes, we end up discarding our dreams. We are too afraid, and some of us have stopped dreaming. This is seen in the many socio-economic pressures that can severely drain the sense of hope among young people. At times, we have not even had the opportunities to keep dreaming.
For this reason, young people seek to engage with and address the social justice issues of our time. We seek the opportunity to work towards building a better world.
It also references the issue of mental health and young people - which we are currently running a National Campaign on - the document states:
Many young people have experienced great traumas in a variety of ways. Many still suffer under the weight of mental illness and physical disabilities. The Church needs to better support us and provide avenues to assist us in our healing.
The document is well worth a full read and should hopefully be an excellent springboard into the October Synod.