WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY) is hosting an online leadership conference December 7-11. The 2020 National Leadership Forum on Ministry with Young Adults is coordinated by the LMFLY secretariat’s National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry and will share best practices and introduce skills to better equip those who minister to young adults (ages 18-39) in the Catholic Church.
The forum planners used Pope Francis’ 2019 apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit, and his 2020 message to young people as guideposts for this event, taking into account the urgent need for Catholics to take bold, creative, and innovative steps to accompany young adults in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The event is being held under the banner of “Arise!” which Pope Francis noted, in his annual message for World Youth Day in February 2020, was “an invitation to ‘dream’, to ‘take a risk’, to be ‘committed to changing the world’, to rekindle your hopes and aspirations, and to contemplate the heavens, the stars and the world around you.”
“While much seems dark and uncertain at this time, the Forum organizers see opportunities for a positive, hope-filled approach to the Church’s engagement of young adults,” said Mr. Dominic Lombardi, executive director for the LMFLY secretariat. “Rather than frustration, now is the time to rise to the occasion, to be bold, and to try something new and exciting.”
The forum is taking place in a virtual format and will feature live webinars and discussions, daily prayer experiences, networking opportunities, and workshops from over sixty pastoral leaders and ministry experts. The event’s keynote address will be given on December 9, by Father Alexandre Awi Mello, I.Sch., the secretary for the Vatican’s Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life, which was created in 2016 by Pope Francis. Eleven U.S. bishops are also key contributors to the forum through several specialized video messages, which are being offered to event participants as part of their registration.
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in live keynote presentations and creative conversations with other ministry leaders from around the country as well as build up their ministry toolbox with video workshops from ministry leaders. The forum is open to any Catholic who accompanies, in any way, young adults in their late teens, twenties, and thirties in their work, leadership, ministry efforts, or active engagement within the Catholic Church. More information, as well as registration is available at www.natyamforum.com.