A long-time promoter of U.S. participation in the Church's World Youth Day events, Caggiano is well known for his involvement in youth ministry, and served a term as episcopal advisor to the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. He attended Yale University before beginning seminary studies, and later earned a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Caggiano's intervention also made mention of "the role that technology now plays in the development of young people."
The bishop said the synod's working document "rightly identified the key phenomenon that visual images play as the prime medium through which young people understand reality," adding that "it does not fully explore, nor take advantage of the formative power that technology now exercises upon the full development of young people."
Caggiano suggested that technology has fostered a cultural shift, which includes disposition toward creativity and collaboration among young people, and urged that the synod "investigate further these fundamental changes now experienced by young people so that the pastoral initiatives we embrace can be as comprehensive as possible."
In particular, the bishop suggested that "it is the path of beauty that must be better explored for the sake of evangelization and catechesis."
"In my experience with young people, the questions that haunt them are not simply intellectual ones. They are first and foremost affective questions (i.e., "questions of the heart"), that ask about their self-worth, the reasonableness of hope, the ability to commit to another and to be loved in return."
To answer these questions, Caggiano said bishops "must unlock the power of beauty, which touches and captures the heart, precisely by utilizing the many opportunities now afforded by digital communication and social media to accompany young people to experience beauty in service of the Gospel."
The bishop said that sacred liturgy, especially, should be offered "as a celebration of the beautiful, the transcendent, with an engagement of the affective senses."
"Let us work to capture the heart of all believers to encounter a God who does not promise a sterile but a life that is itself beautiful, rich in meaning, that invites one's heart to dare to believe that this earthly life is worth living and worth fighting for in light of an eternal life where the restlessness of the heart will find its final rest in the salvation that alone comes from Christ Jesus the Lord," he concluded.