Ciao from Roma! I’m on the ground in Vatican City with several members of the Grotto team, and we’re here to share stories from #Synod2018.
What is a synod?
Here’s a simple breakdown. Established in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, a synod is a gathering of bishops from around the world that comes together to assist the pope on important matters facing the Church. The Greek root of the word “synod” means “to walk together,” and that’s just what some 370 young leaders, cardinals, bishops, priests, and religious from around the globe will do together in Rome October 3–28.
Synods and the topics for consideration must be called by the Holy Father, and for this synod, Pope Francis has placed all his attention on our generation. #Synod2018 has been titled, “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” In a statement released during the planning stages, organizers said the synod is an important moment for the Church to examine “how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today.”
Simply put, Pope Francis wants to better understand our hopes and fears so our faith community can journey with us through life. And better yet, Pope Francis wants to know our dreams for the Church. The “strength and beauty of young people,” as that same preparatory document puts it, is “the ability to rejoice at the beginning of undertakings, to give oneself totally without going back, to pick oneself up and begin again in search of new conquests.”
These words carry a clear invitation for you and me. It’s an invitation to open our hearts to the gift of faith — a faith that calls us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and to live our lives in service to others. This way of living creates an energized and vibrant Church, one that reflects God’s dream for the world.
What does this mean for you?
While this is a synod of bishops, there will be young people representing our generation on the synod floor, and others are traveling to the Eternal City to embrace this historic moment. Team Grotto is here to capture their experiences, and we want you to be part of the story, too — not merely as bystanders, but active participants.
On October 15th, we’ll be hosting a live discussion from Rome and we hope you’ll be part of the dialogue. You can submit your thoughts and questions in advance, or virtually chat with us during the live conversation. Invite your friends — we hope to host a lively and engaged discussion.
Join the movement!
Don’t wait until October 15th to enter the story. It’s time to #RejuvenateTheChurch — today, not tomorrow! At its core, rejuvenation points to the idea of returning to a condition of youthfulness, to exude a greater sense of vitality. It’s about putting new life into something worthy of renewal. We have found hope in the Church, and we are passionate about sharing its beauty with the world. That’s why we at Grotto are inviting you to help us rejuvenate the Church.
This movement has significant importance at this moment in history. Some of us feel let down by our leaders and hesitate to place our trust in the Church. Some of us are “trying to make sense of faith in an increasingly secular society, where freedom of conscience and religion are under attack.” Some of us believe there is a God who loves us and yet others have never experienced His merciful love. Regardless of how you feel or where you are on your spiritual journey, we are in this together.
As Grotto takes to the streets of Rome to share authentic stories of hope and give voice to our generation’s dreams, we invite you to reflect on your own story. Pope Francis has encouraged us to be protagonists of history, because “life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark.” God wants to build a better world with you! Let us together #RejuvenateTheChurch!