Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment

‘Taking care of young people is not an optional task for the Church, but an integral part of her vocation and mission in history. In just a few words, this is the specific scope of the upcoming Synod: just as our Lord Jesus Christ walked alongside the disciples of Emmaus, the Church is also urged to accompany all young people, without exception, towards the joy of love.’  (Instrumentum Laboris)

Apostolic Exhortation

Pope Francis has issued his Apostolic Exhortation in the form of a letter to young people. The letter is final document from the Synod on Youth, Faith & Vocational discernment that began in 2017, with the Synod itself taking place in October 2018.

The letter, addressed to ‘Young people and to the entire people of God,’ begins with ‘Christ is alive! He is our hope…’ This sets the tone for the letter as it is full of examples of hope, love encouragement. Pope Francis calls young people to ‘make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair or live your life behind screen…. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes.

The release of this letter is a momentous moment in the life of the Church and in Catholic Youth Ministry.

Click on the image to read the whole document.

What is a Synod?

Literally speaking the word “synod”, derived from two Greek words syn meaning “together” and hodos meaning “road” or “way”, means a “coming together”. A Synod is a religious meeting or assembly at which bishops, gathered around and with the Holy Father, have opportunity to interact with each other and to share information and experiences, in the common pursuit of pastoral solutions which have a universal validity and application. The Synod, generally speaking, can be defined as an assembly of bishops representing the Catholic episcopate, having the task of helping the Pope in the governing of the universal Church by rendering their counsel. Pope John Paul II has referred to the Synod as “a particularly fruitful expression and instrument of the collegiality of bishops”. (

Listen to our Synod Fathers and their insights into the Synod

Each diocese in England and Wales has been asked to send a young person who can represent the young people of the diocese in meetings with the national rep at the Bishop’s Conference. Abbey Mounter from Bristol has been involved with diocesan youth ministry for a number of years including pilgrimages to Lourdes, diocesan days and now as a lay Chaplain at St Bede’s, she coordinates their involvement in the CAFOD Young Volunteers programme. Abbey is a parishioner of St Bernard’s Shirehampton serving on the altar and studying Theology at Bristol University. Follow Abbey’s progress as our Youth rep as we move towards the Synod in October