All posts tagged: Synod 2018

Resetting the Synod

Antagonisms are what we most frequently and efficiently pass on to young people. We teach them to do what we do and to become what we model. Ideals and hopes are diverted this way or that, to this side or that side, so it seems as if the only imperative is to establish oneself, one’s faction, in opposition to others. We are so deft at these maneuvers that we almost cannot help ourselves; we do it instinctively, somewhat naturally. Surprisingly yet predictably, this same old formational screenplay is playing itself out during the preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops on “young people, the faith and vocational discernment.” Ironically, antagonism and its animating spirit, the hermeneutics of suspicion, are what young people tend to despise most of all. Yet, these things are precisely what we in the Church are preparing them to assume through what we do and what we model. When the final document from the Vatican’s pre-synod meeting of 300 young people was released at the end of March, the accusatory tweets and …

Why Would Young People Want to Remain Catholic?

“This was like the synod for the American Church.” This remark came from one of the more than 20 bishops[1] during a closing conversation for the Cultures of Formation conference hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life and cosponsored by the USCCB committee on doctrine. It was a breathtaking three days. Some 550 registered participants and a few hundred more unregistered attendees considered the profound issues, the pressing needs, and the most ambitious hopes for what Pope Francis has asked the whole Church to focus its attention: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” While those of us who were in attendance will be unpacking what we heard and discussed for months and years to come, those who were not able to attend can sign-up for free follow-up resources, including a forthcoming digital conference, on the conference webpage. Since a comprehensive rundown of the whole conference would likely require at least an entire book if not a multivolume series, I would like to offer six initial reflections both to remind those of us who …

Announcing: Cultures of Formation, a Pre-Synod Conference

M cGrath Institute for Church Life presents a Pre-Synod Conference: Cultures of Formation: Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment March 5–7, 2018 The 2018 Vatican synod dedicated to “young people, faith, and vocational discernment” will address “the process by which a person makes fundamental choices in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit (Preparatory Document II.2).” As part of the ongoing preparation for the synod, the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame is hosting an academic and pastoral conference with three interrelated goals: To assess the formative influences on young people today To articulate the end to which the Church’s evangelization and formation efforts are ordered To exercise missionary creativity in renewing the Church’s work to form young people for vocational discernment in the present age With these goals in mind, the guiding question for the entire conference is, How do we create cultures in which it is easier for young people to be Catholic? By focusing on “cultures of formation”, we actually intend to …