The pope understands the importance of community for all of us. Young adults long for real community that encourages the best in them.
Attention Catholic young people, by which I mean everyone under 30: Pope Francis has written you a letter.
Called “Christ Is Alive,” it is a historic document in that it isn’t just a letter about young people. It is to young people. Whether you are in high school or in college or in your 20s and trying to figure out what comes next, this letter, also called an apostolic exhortation, is for you.
And because Pope Francis is first and foremost a pastor, this letter has practical advice for the Church — its priests and teachers and youth ministers — about young people and practical advice for young people as they make their way into the world.
The letter was written to follow up on last year’s two gatherings: The first consisted of young people who gathered at the pope’s request to reflect on the Church, on their vocations as Christians, on their own needs and questions. The second was a gathering of bishops to contemplate the same issues.
For the pope, this topic is not about some distant tomorrow when the young will have matured and be running the world. “We cannot just say that young people are the future of our world. They are its present,” he wrote. “Even now they are helping to enrich it.”
The pope has a great deal to say about the abuse crisis, about sexuality and intimacy, about today’s digital environment and its attractions and dangers.
This article was originally published on Wednesday 17 April 2019 on The Boston Pilot.
Greg Erlandson is director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service.