of YAs has actually begun with the 2015 DH-CLC Assembly in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. This Assembly has dedicated one whole day for the entire delegate assembly to go through a discernment process in which YAs who attended the Assembly shared their reflection on struggles, challenges, and aspirations. The fruit of this discernment was a mandate titled “Our Way of Finding God” (“OWFG”) for the DH-CLC Executive Council to develop a proposal for reforming the YA ministry. To achieve this goal, the DH-CLC ExCo formed and commissioned a workgroup to develop this proposal.
The OWFG Workgroup reviewed the report summarizing the reflection shared by YAs at the 2015 Assembly to identify the core needs because it is essential to differentiate their authentic needs from their other needs. We call these authentic needs Core Needs. However, the
Workgroup had to find a way to confirm these are the YAs’ core needs because the number of YAs attending the 2015 Assembly might not have been significant enough to reflect the core needs of the general YA population. To confirm the core needs, the Workgroup has formed
several pilot groups made up of YAs from both inside and outside DH-CLC community and invited them to do the reflection series “You Are My Beloved” designed with questions to identify the core needs. Follows are the needs summarized by the pilot group facilitators as a result of the above reflection series and were categorized into three core needs by the Workgroup:
We provide communal support to form discerning young adult Christians. We develop and deliver programs that foster their desire to respond to God’s call of apostleship.
By way of our particular CLC vocation, we readily assist the Church to journey with the young adults to embrace a Christ-centered life. We foster their desire to deepen relationships with God through discerning communities, and prepare them to respond passionately to the call of apostleship in their daily lives.
The Core Needs of young adult have been identified and confirmed as unique areas where the ministry can help young adult encounter and follow God in living out their baptismal callings of Christ’s priestly, prophetical, and kingly office.
Sense of Belonging
The young adult have characterized the sense of belonging to include the need for a group:
Where they feel safe to be who they are
Where they can freely express themselves without fear of judgment and feel accepted
Where they feel a sense of purpose,
Where they have opportunities to connect with God in others,
Where they are afforded opportunities to contribute with their skills to the common causes of the group.
Unified Vision and Sense of Belonging
Through discerning communities stated in the Unified Vision, YAs are afforded opportunities to develop meaningful bonding with their peers who share similar struggles, needs and aspirations. A sense of group identity developed through shared goals and activities provides a ground for the growth of sense of belonging in YAs.
Relationship with Christ
The community has nurtured and inspired them to pursue a deeper, more personal relationship with God
The community provides opportunities for them to share their own faith journey and to receive affirmation of God’s presence, love, and work in the sharing of their peers.
The young adults have also confirmed that the charity and apostolic services are a way for them to find and connect with God.
Unified Vision and Relationship with God
At the heart of the Unified Vision clearly states the purpose to foster in YAs a desire to deepen their relationship with God by embracing Christ at the center of their life. The CLC way of life can help YAs develop an intimate relationship with Christ by praying with scriptures in the
Ignatian way and making Ignatian retreats, learning to seek God’s will with the Ignatian daily examen, discernment of spirits, communal discernment from their groups, and laboring with Christ through charity services and apostolic missions.
From their interaction with the adult seniors in the community, the young adults
Have found the way the adult seniors approached them with kindness, gentleness, compassion, care, patience, encouragement, and understanding has helped them greatly in their faith journey.
Have found the adult seniors’ sincerity with the pure interest for them at heart and willingness to be present with them greatly helpful in establishing a trust and giving them confidence to seek guidance from their seniors.
Also long for companionship from their peers, a relationship with friends who not only share the same aspirations and vision, but also can exchange experiences and ideas on many issues of their concern as well.
Search for the kind of guidance similar to what Jesus gave His disciples.
Unified Vision and Mentorship
By emphasizing the importance of journeying with YAs, the Unified Vision addresses the YAs’ need for mentorship. Journeying includes not only coaching but also the actual companionship with YAs throughout their Christian faith formation at their maturity level, their culture, and languages in the same manner Apostle Paul said: “19Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win over those under the law.... 22To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some.”