By Fr Mateo González, SDB
In this case it seems that the questionnaires could reach more people. But let's move on to the questions. The Synod wants to know how many young people there are - between the ages of 19 and 29 -, what is the data on birth rates and that of the so-called NEETs (young people who do not study, do not work or engage in vocational training). Local churches are asked how they listen to the reality of their youth, what involvement there is and what is being offered, where they are, how they are being accompanied, what good practices have been developed, what are the specific needs of each and every continent ... as welll as a section on vocations, a theme which is also at the center of this synod.
But what does it mean to be young? The question is not superfluous. This state or this situation in life, of transition between childhood and adulthood, does not find a unique (univoca)answer, but changes according to the historical moment or to the country we are in. Now the Synod makes its choice: from 19 to 29 years.
The GMGs. The Church is aware of possessing "what makes the strength or the beauty of young people: the ability to rejoice for that which begins, to give of oneself without a return, to renew oneself and to start again towards new conquests." Over fifty years later, we can read the message of Vatican Council II to young people. This impetus has long been experienced in many pastoral initiatives that are bold and full of youthful protagonism ... until they have been, in a sense, obscured by the explosion that are the World Youth Days, the WYD.
The next WYD, with a new calendar, in a country with no major infrastructure, with a symbolic geography linking North and South and the seas of the East and the West ... may be the occasion for a new beginning of the Church's trust in that generation destined to be a future that joins itself to the present.