Washington D.C., May 21, 2018 / 15:11 pm
The question of how the U.S. Church can better reach young adults who are not actively engaged in their faith was at the heart of a three-day conference in Washington, D.C. last week.
Michael Gormley, podcast host and coordinator of evangelization at a parish outside Houston, said that he believes many in the Church are still operating under a mindset of "If we just teach them in the right way, use the right programs, hold the right events, they'll come pouring back in."
"And I think it completely misses the point that we're not even on their radar," Gormley said. "The biggest problem is we need to go where people are, and not expect them to come to us."
The National Young Adult Ministry Summit was organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Some 130 attendees from 60 dioceses, hailing from as far as Fairbanks, Alaska, gathered at the National Shrine of St. John Paul II May 15-17.
Themes of the summit were tied to the preparatory and pre-synod document for the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, which will be held this fall in Rome.
Throughout the summit, participants attended various breakout and small-group sessions that were tailored to different segments of the young adult population. People were split up based on if they worked on the diocesan or parish level, in order to better connect with people from similar positions.