As a young Catholic woman navigating the complexities of the modern world, I have a vision of a Church that speaks to my generation, embraces relevance and authenticity, and promotes a sense of community
This vision recognizes our ever-changing scenario and actively seeks to address the issues and concerns that affect us. A sanctuary built on love, inclusion, spiritual growth, and the creation of an environment where we can grow in our faith, find support, and positively impact the world.
One of the key aspects of the Catholic Church that I would like as a young adult is a sense of genuine communion. I want a Church that actively seeks to listen to and understand the experiences and perspectives of young people. The Synod provides a platform for open dialogue and active participation, allowing us to contribute our insights and ideas to decision-making processes within the Church. By valuing our voices and promoting a culture of collaboration, the Church can bridge the generation gap and truly embody the spirit of communion.
Authenticity is another key aspect of the Catholic Church that I would like. It is a place where we can openly explore our doubts and questions, and struggle without fear of judgement or condemnation. A Church that recognizes that faith is a journey full of uncertainties and welcomes honest discussions about our beliefs and the challenges we face. A Church that encourages critical thinking, encourages dialogue, and recognizes that doubt can lead to deeper faith.
The Church I would like values the authenticity of everyone’s experience and recognizes the beauty in our different perspectives.
Mission is also fundamental to the Church I want as a young adult, and I believe the Synod has the ability to highlight this. I hope to see a Church that takes responsibility to be a force for positive change in the world.
A Church that provides opportunities for people to deepen their relationship with God by offering different forms of worship and prayer that impact people from diverse backgrounds. One that recognizes the importance of personal transformation and encourages its members to externalize their faith in practical ways. By cultivating spiritual growth, the Church creates an environment that fosters a deeper understanding of God’s love and grace.
In addition, as a young adult in South Africa, I long for a Church that allows us to participate actively in the life of the faith community and society at large. A place where we can build meaningful relationships with our peers who share similar values and aspirations to our own. A Church that creates opportunities for us to connect, build friendships and support one another in our faith journey. A Church that fosters a climate of inclusiveness and acceptance, where all young people, regardless of their background or life circumstances, feel welcome and valued. This sense of community allows us to express our faith, encourage one another and have a positive impact on the world around us.
In conclusion, the Catholic Church I would like to see embraces relevance, authenticity and community. She is a Church that remains faithful to its core teachings while adapting to the needs and challenges of the modern world. A Church that promotes spiritual growth, actively engages in social justice initiatives and creates an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
This would be a Church who enables young people to live their faith authentically and engage with the world around them, while making a positive impact and serving as a true reflection of Christ’s teachings.
By Mary Zomba
A Member of the Youth Commission in the Archdiocese of Pretoria (South Africa), former Secretary General of the South African Catholic Youth Ministry