As I reflect upon the desire to find effective ways by which we can support our young adults in their Catholic faith, I am more and more convinced that young adults themselves must take the lead in bringing other young adults to faith. In fact, I have found that an effective missionary of faith is usually a young adult, whose faith, life of integrity and willingness to befriend and accompany another young adult can help that person to encounter Christ in an effective and powerful way. So, if this insight is true, then we must find ways to empower young adults, already in love with the Lord, to go out and seek others of their own age to encounter the Lord Jesus.
How can we empower this new generation of young adult missionary Catholics? I would suggest that we can begin by identifying those who are now active in our parishes and schools, intentionally invite them to consider accepting the call to become “missionaries” to their peers and spend time with them in prayer, training and support. Let us find ways to equip them to go out, perhaps two by two, to invite other young adults to ask the questions they have and find the answers to those question in the Lord Jesus.
We also need to create communities where these courageous young adult missionaries can find support and accompaniment for themselves. Such communities will help them to deepen their own lives of faith in Christ. I imagine such communities will gather in “the upper room,” like the apostles and disciples did, to pray, share their own concerns and encourage each other. They can then go forth from these “upper rooms,” refreshed with the power of the Holy Spirit and strengthened in their Catholic faith, to invite others to do the same. It is my plan to create such “upper rooms” in support of our young missionary adults.
There are many reasons why young adults may have turned away from faith. However, the path to invite them back is become clearer. Let us stand with our young adults who are ready to lead their peers to Christ, one person at a time.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos! Do not miss Bishop Frank’s latest video: What Does it Mean to Stand with Christ?