The International Congress on Youth Ministry offers three days of study and reflection on a number of Christus vivit Photo: Regnum Christi

For a synodal youth ministry: new styles and leadership strategies: congress in Rome sponsored by the Vatican

From 23 to 25 May, the International Congress on Youth Ministry which focuses on youth leadership, synodality, formation and spiritual accompaniment, takes place on the 5th anniversary of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation addressed to young people

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 05.20.2024).- From 23 to 25 May, approximately 300 delegates of  Episcopal Conferences from 110 countries will take part in the International Congress on  Youth Ministry which was organised by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (DLFL) and  will be held at Casa di Accoglienza ‘Il Carmelo’ in Rome. The theme of the Congress is “For  a synodal youth ministry: new styles and leadership strategies”.

Taking place on the fifth anniversary of the publication of the post-synodal Apostolic  Exhortation Christus vivit, the meeting is a pivotal moment which directly links to the  preparation for the next World Youth Day in Seoul in 2027.

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is dedicating the year 2024 to the promotion  and circulation of the Exhortation, which was published after the 2018 Synod on Youth.  Initiatives which have been implemented include a social media campaign via official World  Youth Day accounts, and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first meeting comprising young people and the Pope in Saint Peter’s Square in 1984. These initiatives, along with  numerous diocesan events in various parts of the world, aim to strengthen youth ministry and  foster spiritual reflection amongst young people, by starting with the indications offered by  Christus vivit.

The International Congress on Youth Ministry offers three days of study and  reflection on a number of Christus vivit themes which are fundamental to pastoral care and  work. Such themes include youth leadership, synodality, formation, and spiritual  accompaniment. Each theme will be introduced by an expert in the field of pastoral care, and  will be further explored in sharing groups in accordance with a methodology of spiritual  discernment introduced by Dr Sandra Chaoul (Lebanon), Director of the Accompaniment  Network for Discerning Leadership Program. Other speakers will include Prof. Gustavo Fabián  Cavagnari, Professor of Youth Ministry at the Salesian Pontifical University in Argentina; Rev.  Fr Christopher Ryan MGL, Director of the Areté Centre for Missionary Leadership in  Australia; and Dr Brenda Noriega (USA), member of the first International Youth Advisory  Body (IYAB) of the DLFL who possesses extensive experience in youth faith formation  processes.

Following an introductory greeting by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the DLFL, the  first day of the Congress will open with a session entitled “From WYD Lisbon 2023 to WYD  Seoul 2027”. The session will focus on a reflection and evaluation of the significant events of  the last World Youth Day in Lisbon in 2023. This moment will not only celebrate the successes achieved, but will also act as a bridge towards the next edition of World Youth Day to be held  in Seoul in 2027. During the session, Cardinal Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar, Bishop of  Setúbal, and H. Exc. Msgr. Peter Soon-Taick Chung, Archbishop of Seoul, will share their  experiences and offer early insight into their expectations and innovations for the next great  meeting of youth from around the world.

Another major event to be introduced during the Congress will be the Jubilee of Youth  2025, which is scheduled from 28 July to 3 August. On this special occasion, the Holy Father  will invite young people from all over the world to Rome, urging them to be “pilgrims of hope”.  H. Exc. Msgr. Rino Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, will present the  details of this important event by speaking about the initiatives and activities planned for the  Jubilee of Youth.

The Congress will conclude on Saturday 25 May, with the participation in the Holy  Father’s Audience in the morning and an open dialogue with Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ,  Under-Secretary for the General Secretariat of the Synod, in the afternoon.

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