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Synod of Bishops 2018: Youth - Faith - Vocation Discernment

Working Document - Instrumentum Laboris: ENG

PDF version: Youth Synod - Instrumentum laboris_ENG.pdf

WORD version: Youth Synod 2018 Instrumentum laboris ENG.docx

PRESENTATION by Synod Special Secretary Fr. Rosanno Sala, SDB (ITA)

2018 - 07 - 11 - Rossano Sala - Consigli generali FMA e SDB riuniti - Il Sinodo dei giovani.docx



Chapter I. Being Young Today

Chapter II. Experiences and Types of Language

Chapter III. In the Throwaway Culture

Chapter IV. Anthropological and Cultural Challenges

Chapter V. Listening to Young People



Chapter I. The Blessing of Youth

Chapter II. Vocation in the Light of Faith

Chapter III. The Dynamism of Vocational Discernment

Chapter IV. The Art of Accompanying



Chapter I. An Integral Perspective

Chapter II. Deep into the Fabric of our Daily Lives

Chapter III. An Evangelized and Evangelizing Community

Chapter IV. The Animation and Organization of Pastoral Care




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.



(Pope Francis)

Don Bosco boy street.jpg

Pope Francis and the Young

Youth Synod 2018.png

 "Beware of blaming young people for their distance from the Church"; instead, proceed towards an "institutional conversion, which concerns the way we live and work together". These are some of the suggestions offered by Salesian Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", during the press conference to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod - the working document for the synod fathers.

Fr Sala's intervention was based on the current state wherein the Church can exercise its mission. For this reason, the first proposed step was to acknowledge or recognize today's "anthropological and cultural challenges": the relationship with corporeity and affection, the new methods of informing oneself and relating to the truth, the profound effects of the digital world on individuals, the disappointment towards traditional institutions, "the culture of indecision", spiritual nostalgia ...

The second passage concerns a new form of interpreting the vocational issue, setting aside the narrow vision for which the Vocation Ministry regards only vocations to the ministry and the consecrated life: "The loss of vocational culture has made us fall into a society without ties and without quality," said Fr. Sala, adding that it is only in view of a vocational search in a broad sense that young people may develop a solid and well-balanced character.

Subsequently, Fr. Sala presented the decisive phase of choice: it is at this stage that the ecclesial institutions must have the courage to up the ante, challenge themselves fully. First of all, by being close to children on a daily basis in an accompanying process that expresses "the undisputed and indisputable primacy of daily life for the pastoral care of young people". And then, truly making manifest the fraternity and the community as locations and sites wherein it is, indeed, beautiful to grow up as a child or young person, environments of communion versus a world that pushes towards isolation.

Finally, Fr. Sala emphasized an element which pervades, almost unseen, or under the radar, the whole document and which also constitutes a typical Salesian trait: the commitment to give more to those who have less: it is in this pastoral concern for the poor and the needy that the credibility of the Church is played out, and it is through the proposals of voluntary action and service that so many young people come to seek and question their own vocation and their own individual role in the community of believers.

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