LA archbishop thinks best ways to reach youth are often old ones
“It is our mission to ask God for the grace to discover new means to reach out to young people,” Archbishop Gomez said. “We need to use all the new means of communication so that they can understand what we are talking about.”
The New Evangelization must present timeless truths in new ways, he told CNA on Oct. 18 during a break of the synod on the New Evangelization.
“Beautiful traditions, like the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and the time of contemplation and meditation, are very popular among young people,” he noted. “So we have to go back to that, so that they can feel, too, how important … the Catholic faith is for them.”
Young people are a major focus of the New Evangelization – which is aimed at reintroducing the faith to formerly Christian countries.
Archbishop Gomez believes the Church can accomplish this by taking action rooted in prayer.
“The first thing we need to do is to pray for them,” he said. “And then we have to come up with new, better ways to reach out to them.”
In the Los Angeles, for example, “we have specific congresses in every region of the archdiocese, and some of them try to target young people, so that they can come and participate and see how beautiful it is to know Jesus Christ. We pray for them, and entrust their needs (to God) and see that they get excited about the Catholic faith.”
That excitement is rooted not in feelings but the realization that “the Catholic faith has all the answers to all the challenges of this society,” he said. In turn, this recognition should foster “a new enthusiasm in the way that we know and practice our faith.”
Bishops at the synod say that Church-approved catechists will be instrumental in bringing people to Christ and making the New Evangelization a success. [More]