If the Pope asked for your opinion or advice, would you give it? In fact, the Pope does just this as often as he convenes a Synod of Bishops. The word “synod” comes from the Greek word meaning assembly and since 1965, under the instruction of Blessed Pope Paul VI, synods of bishops have been called biennially for more than 50 years. It was a synod of bishops in the late 90s that actually prompted the establishment of this magazine, The Carillon, so that proceedings and information could begin being shared around the diocese.
As often as a synod is convoked, a representation of bishops from all around the world come together with the expectation of the Holy Father that they have consulted the faithful of their respective regions in order to bring their thoughts to the discussion. Next year, this will happen again under the chosen theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. It is the wish of Pope Francis to learn from the diverse perspectives of the universal Church what are the experiences, opportunities and obstacles for youth in our modern world to practice their faith and discover God’s plan for their lives. In the preparatory document which was distributed among all of the dioceses of the world, a set of questions was proposed at the end to guide the efforts of bishops to solicit the feedback of the young people among their flocks. In the Diocese of Calgary, under the direction of Bishop McGrattan, we are working on an exciting and innovative way to use these questions and engage in this discussion.
With the cooperation of the Office of Youth Ministry and the Office of Vocations, a team of young people along with those directly involved in working among them have come together to design a format of consultation which will be conducted throughout the diocese. We have undertaken to organize this process into ten distinct stages involving two phases of surveys. Using a digital platform of survey generation, we will be able to reach a diverse and vast population of the diocese. The idea behind the two phases is to use the first phase in order to collect demographic information about the respondents and thereby organize them into four broad contexts which will determine the style of survey they receive in the second phase. These customized surveys will produce more representative results of modern youth and young adults’ response to faith and vocation. The four broad categories have been identified as those: willingly practicing Faith; unwillingly practicing Faith (due to the influence of others); not practicing Faith due to lack of interest; & not practicing Faith due to disagreement with it.
On an experimental basis and with the invaluable collaboration of the Calgary Separate School District, we will launch our digital surveys among high school students before the widespread use of the surveys throughout the rest of the diocese later in the fall. We will compile the anonymous results into a report which can then be sent to the Vatican in advance of the Synod as well as for our own use in shaping the future of youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Calgary. When the Pope asks for your input, one is wise to give it!
Youth and Young Adults Ministry
"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you" (John 15:16). Please join us in prayer for our Seminarians as they prepare for priesthood. May God grant them the grace to grow closer to Him through their daily prayers and studies. Below is the list of current Seminarians studying at St. Joseph's College in Edmonton, Alberta.
- Deacon Derek Remus: Theology V (Home Parish: St. Ambrose, Coaldale). Rev. Mr Derek Remus was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate by Bishop William McGrattan in his pastoral year parish, St. Bonaventure, on Saturday, December 23, 2017. He is to be ordained to the priesthood on Friday, June 29, 2018 by Bishop William McGrattan at St. Mary's Cathedral, at 7 PM.
- Mr. Troy Nguyen: Pastoral Year (Home Parish: St. Vincent Liem, Calgary). Mr. Troy Nguyen was admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders in his current pastoral year parish, St. Peter's, Calgary on Sunday, November 26, 2017.
- Mr. Shane Lambert: Pastoral Year (Home Parish: St. Patrick, Medicine Hat). Mr. Shane Lambert was admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders in his current pastoral year parish, Holy Spirit, Calgary on Sunday, November 26, 2017.
- Mr. Mark Drapal: Theology II (Home Parish: St. Cecilia, Calgary). Mr. Mark Drapal was installed in the Ministry of Acolyte at St. Cecilia's on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
- Mr. Peter An: Philosophy III (Home Parish: St. Anne, Calgary)
- Mr. Mark Kostecky: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. Mary, Cochrane)
- Mr. Ian Mahood: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. John the Evangelist of the Anglican Ordinariate, Calgary)
- Mr. Kevin Ponte: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. Michael, Calgary)
- Mr. James Schnitzler: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. Joseph, Calgary)
- Mr. Matthew Schnitzler: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. Joseph, Calgary)
- Mr. Santiago Torres: Propadeutic Year (Home Parish: St. Bonaventure, Calgary)
For more information about the vocation to the priesthood, contact Fr. Cristino Bouvette at 403-218-5546 or e-mail.