Participants in the Diocese of San Diego’s Young Adult Synod were encouraged to “dream big” as they came up with proposals for how the Catholic Church might better accompany them on their spiritual journeys and help them in their lives.
Those dreams are already becoming reality.
In the synod’s closing session on Nov. 9, Bishop Robert W. McElroy accepted them all, adding three proposals of his own to the list of 30, He announced that the implementation process would begin immediately. All the proposals are listed below.
I. Walking with God … Where do you see the Holy Spirit at work today in your life and how can the diocese and parishes assist young adults in supporting their spiritual and personal relationship with God?
1. Deaneries will facilitate more accommodating times for Mass and confession for young adults during weekday evenings by July 1, 2020.
2. Diocese will provide a growing online list of certified spiritual directors to accompany young adults by the end of 2020.
3. Each deanery will provide monthly events to meet the needs of young adults such as spiritual, social, catechetical and charitable by January 2020.
4. The Office for Family Life and Spirituality will extend marriage formation for young adult couples after their wedding with monthly workshops hosted in rotating parishes starting in January 2020.
5. The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry will compile and distribute standardized catechetical materials directed to young adults according to their current life stage, to be implemented by each parish by July 1, 2020.
II. Walking with the Church … What specific ways can young adults be vessels of hope in support of the Catholic Church’s mission in reaching out to their disaffiliated peers?
1. Each parish will form intentional community partnerships with local businesses such as coffee shops/restaurants, to create “third spaces” to host young adult events in 2021.
2. The diocese will provide radical hospitality training for parish staff, ushers, greeters to foster a more welcoming and inviting church, and encourage young adults participation in the liturgy.
3. Each deanery will have at least three paid positions whose sole responsibility is young adult coordination and works a minimum of 10 hours per week by 2021.
4. The diocese will host a water table at marginalized group gatherings, such as 2020 Pride Parade with the message God loves you and we love you too.
5. Each deanery will host one off-site young adult social event per month to reach disaffiliated young adults.
III. Walking with Solidarity … What ways can the diocese and/or parishes accompany young adults in and through parishes?
1. The Young Adult Office, an outside consultant along with deanery representatives develop a communication strategy for the young adult community of the Diocese of San Diego.
2. The Young Adult Office, in collaboration with the deaneries will facilitate a mentoring program between young adult members of the church and seasoned parishioners.
3. Young Adult Office, in collaboration with the deaneries, will sponsor three seasonal events which will support young adults in their Christian journey.
4. The Young Adult Office will update the Handbook for Young Adults in order to be a complete guide for how to run a young adult group, including basic meetings, resources, calendars, etc.
5. All parishes should have a welcome committee with young adult participation so that young adults can foster young adult connections in the parish.
IV. Walking with Purpose … Recognizing the challenges in our times in our world, nation and Church, what ways do you see Catholic young adults wanting to make a difference?
1. The Diocesan Institute will create a young adult curriculum to support and enhance the formation of young adults and those who minister to them, equipping them to address the signs of the times in the Church and society by fall of 2020.
2. The Young Adult Office in collaboration with Catholic Charities will host a quarterly speaker series to educate and engage young adults on social issues beginning fall 2020.
3. The Offices for Young Adult Ministry and Life, Peace and Justice in collaboration with Catholic Charities, will develop and facilitate service opportunities for all young adult groups in order to put Faith into Action by Fall 2020.
4. Deaneries will request parishes to appoint one young adult to Leadership Council by winter 2020.
5. Deaneries will request each parish to identify disengaged communities of young adults within their parish and develop integration strategies by spring 2020.
V. Walking towards Freedom … As one who is freed by Christ, how can the diocese and/or parishes support you in living out this freedom for fullness of life and mission?
1. Parishes will have a line item in budget for young adult ministry initiatives by 2021.
2. Diocese will create shareable database of resources such as local speakers, budget and event templates, and contact information of leadership.
3. Deanery committee will coordinate with diocese and parishes a master calendar to be published on diocesan website.
4. Deaneries will designate delegates to be an ad hoc chair to represent parishes in deanery.
5. Deanery young adult community will organize nights of adoration and prayer followed by social hosted at rotating parishes.
General Proposals supported by Bishop McElroy and the Presbyteral Council
1. Each parish by the end of 2022 will have 25 percent of its liturgical and leadership roles filled with young adults.
2. Each deanery by the end of January 2020 will convene delegates in their respective deaneries to form a Deanery Young Adult Leadership Team.
Catholic School Proposals
On Oct. 24, 2019, as part of the synod process, representatives from the Catholic School Community were convened by John Galvan, director of schools, to prepare proposals representing the school community. Father John Hurley facilitated this process. The following five proposals are presented to Bishop McElroy:
The Office for Schools will sponsor annually a Spiritual Development Day for all faculty and staff in the schools beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year.
The Office for Schools will provide leadership development for principals to gain tools for fostering the spirituality of the young adult members of their faculties and staffs.
The Office of Schools and the Principals Advisory Committee in each cluster would host a social that would have a Catholic Social Teaching formation component and a service opportunity or event.
Schools and parishes partner together in preparing graduates for a post-high school faith life rooted in service.
In order to ensure that this young adult focus continues and grows, those gathered propose that the Office for Schools establish a Young Adult Leadership Team.