Aparecida 442: Adolescents and Young People

Some adults, including too many church leaders, avoid people of teen years. Others utter easy mottos like “they are the future of the Church.” Which overlooks the fact that baptized persons, with or without Confirmation, no matter how young, indeed are the Church of today.

The third section of chapter 9 treats Adolescents and Young People.

442. The stage of adolescence deserves special attention. Adolescents are neither children nor young people. They are at the age of seeking their own identity, independence from their parents, and discovery of the group. At this age they can easily fall prey to false leaders and form gangs. Ministry to adolescents, with its own characteristics, must be fostered to assure perseverance and growth in the faith. The adolescent seeks an experience of friendship with Jesus.

We know from experience that the myth of Confirmation as graduation/maturity is an epic fail. We persist in seeing at least five sacraments as events that complete, rather than rituals that initiate for mission. Until we re-focus ministry to young people along this one simple line: friendship with Jesus, our failures with youth will continue.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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