Pope Francis signs ‘sick note’ for youngest participant of the Synod on Synodality

Wyatt Olivas Wyatt Olivas, a university student from the United States, at a press conference on the Synod of Synodality in Rome being held in October 2023. | Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/ACI Prensa

Pope Francis has signed a “sick note” for the youngest participant of the Synod of Synodality, 19-year-old Wyatt Olivas, so that he can take a few days of rest when he returns to the United States before going back to classes at the University of Wyoming.

According to Vatican News, Olivas approached the Holy Father during one of the breaks in the work of the Synod of Synodality, which has been taking place since Oct. 4 in Rome, in order to request his signature for the letter that explains that the young man has participated in the synod. 

“Wyatt A. Olivas has been an integral part of the Synod of Synodality, working diligently to contribute to this significant event in the Church. His efforts have been greatly appreciated by the Church community and we are grateful for his dedication and hard work. As a result of his tireless efforts, we believe Wyatt deserves a break from classes to recharge,” the letter reads.

The letter also indicates that the student has promised to “return to class and complete his work, and we trust that he will keep his word. We are sure that after this much-needed break, he will return to his studies with renewed energy and focus. Therefore, we kindly ask that he be excused from classes for a short time.”

“It is true; you are important,” Pope Francis said after signing the letter for Olivas, who works as a catechist in his native diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and has represented youth at the synod.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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