Evangelii Nuntiandi 72: Young People

This was a focus of the last pope: Catholic youth.

72. Circumstances invite us to make special mention of the young. Their increasing number and growing presence in society and likewise the problems assailing them should awaken in every one the desire to offer them with zeal and intelligence the Gospel ideal as something to be known and lived. And on the other hand, young people who are well trained in faith and prayer must become more and more the apostles of youth. The Church counts greatly on their contribution, and we ourself have often manifested our full confidence in them.

Every generation seems to find new ways to alienate young people. Whatever “confidence” a pope offers may well be undercut in parish or school life. And the formation element is tricky. One young friend of mine, in the guise of the “new” evangelization understood he was obliged to proselytize, an action as a young teen, he didn’t feel at all competent to undertake. Or really very willing.

I have found teens, college students, and young adults, as individual persons to be very competent in any number of spiritual gifts and tasks, including evangelization. But it does take special care to guide young people, to ward off burn-out, and keep them balanced.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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