Browsing News Entries

NCR Podcast: FOCUS and the new evangelization

Listen: NCR's Heidi Schlumpf and theologian Kevin Ahern talk about the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and its influence on college-age Catholics.

Editorial: We need bishops to stand up to spread of fake news

We say: The response of Bishop James Johnston of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, to the fallout following his decision to keep musician Dan Schutte from performing in a local parish is disappointing and disheartening. He missed an opportunity.

At global forums, church leaders advocate for safe water for all

Erileid Domingues said most of her indigenous village has, at one time or another, fallen ill due to contaminated water.

China's Communist Party overhaul includes religious affairs control

China's ruling Communist Party has dissolved its long-standing State Administration for Religious Affairs bureau and handed its functions to the party's United Front Work Department.

Latin American bishops call for 'ecological conversion'

Less than two months after Pope Francis spoke out about environmental destruction in the Amazon basin during a visit to Peru, bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean have issued a pastoral letter calling the region's Catholics to an "integral ecological conversion."

Young and old: Two thrown-away generations can save the world, pope says

A new book-length interview with Pope Francis is a guide to a "revolution of tenderness" in which young people and the elderly — both "thrown away" by society — band together to help change the world.

Purity is seen in how one treats oneself, others, papal preacher says

Young and old: Two thrown-away generations can save the world, pope says

Morning Briefing

NCR Today: Prepare yourself for Holy Week. NCR Forward tops 1,000 members. The Catholic #MeToo. Students prepare for tomorrow's March for Our Lives events. Who is John Bolton and should we be scared?

U.S. delegates say young people want mentors, a voice, unity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Young people want trusted guides as they explore their faith and their vocation, said five young adults from the United States attending the Vatican's pre-synod meeting. The U.S. delegates to the Vatican meeting March 19-25 also said the 305 young adults from around the world want to see young people consulted more often in their parishes and dioceses. And, one said, in conversations with other delegates, he discovered that Catholics in other countries are not experiencing the sharp divisions that U.S. Catholics are. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent three delegates to the meeting: De La Salle Christian Brother Javier Hansen, who teaches at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas; Nick Lopez, director of campus ministry for the University of Dallas; and Katie Prejean-McGrady, a wife, new mother, youth minister, and a popular speaker from the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Chris Russo, a 23-year-old working in Boston, represented the Ruthenian Catholic Church. And Nicole Perone, director of adult faith formation for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, represented Voices of Faith, an international group that highlights the contributions of women in the church. A topic that came up consistently at the meeting, Prejean-McGrady said, was young people's desire "to find companions on the journey, to look for people to walk with them." "When you have personal relationships with people who are vibrantly living their faith, then you yourself are inspired to live your faith," she said. And the relationship also provides a trusted source for dealing with concerns about topics such as sexuality or church teachings that may be difficult to understand, she said. "'Here's a book; believe it' -- that doesn't work with young people anymore, and we know that because they are consuming far too much media to where they are not going to read that book," Prejean-McGrady said. "You have to talk with them, you have to walk with them, you have to love them and really spend time with them." Lopez noted that Pope Francis opened the meeting March 19 by telling the delegates that the church wanted to hear their opinions and their questions, even those they thought might make church leaders uncomfortable. In ministry to young people, they need to know they can ask those questions and that "we are going to discuss them. Nothing is too radical. Nothing is out of left field," he said. If a young person is struggling with something, that is all the reason needed to discuss it. "Human issues are church issues, and we aren't going to get anywhere unless we begin the conversation," Lopez said. "Young people seem to live in this age of anxiety, meaning that in a world of seemingly endless possibilities, they are almost paralyzed because they have all of these different options and they want to go forth, but they want to make the right decision, and they want to do so without the fear of failure," Russo said. "My hope is that just as Christ walked with the apostles, the church will walk with young people as they are discerning all these different thoughts and considering different paths." The accompaniment discussion was key for Perone, who counts herself blessed to have had the guidance and friendship of "a number of people, but especially women, really bright, faithful women who love the church and have dedicated their lives in service to the church." The preparatory document for the synod, which will be held in October, talks about "role models, guides and mentors," she said, but a lot of young people do not know how to ask for such accompaniment, and many people do not realize they can offer that to young people. Faith mentors to young people, she said, first must be "faithful Christians, people who are living their lives faithfully and are committed to walking the journey of holiness." And, she said, "it has to be a person who is not afraid to acknowledge they are human and make mistakes. The words 'authenticity' ...