Raices y Alas 2022


Pastoral Juvenil: Prophetic Voices, Protagonists of Hope

The Virgin Mary, with her yes given to God as a young girl, became God’s instrument for the incarnation of the Son, in history and for the salvation of humanity (Lk 1:26-35). Pope Francis tells us that “true youth means having a heart capable of loving” (CV 13), and “youth is an original and stimulating stage of life, which Jesus himself experienced, thereby sanctifying it” (CV 22).
The preferential option for young people has the potential to revitalize the Church in this country by ensuring that the entire Church community values, supports, and devotes a significant proportion of its time, human, and financial resources to the young people in the Church. In the United States, more than half of the young people in the Catholic Church is Latino and ministering to them should be a priority, both for what it implies for the lives of this substantial number of young people and for its impact on the future of the Church.
Over the years, evidence suggests that young people are the best evangelizers of other young people, under the guidance of experienced adults. By promoting the protagonism of young people in “peer-to-peer” evangelization, they respond to their baptismal vocation and multiply the action of pastoral agents. Pastoral ministers cannot reach all the places where young people gather, study, and work. (1)

Formation and accompaniment

In Pastoral Juvenil, we provide formation and pastoral accompaniment to Spanish-speaking and bilingual young people during their adolescence and youth, until they marry or reach 30 years of age. This ministry takes shape in two main modalities: parish youth and young adult groups and ecclesial youth and young adult movements; both include members from different socioeconomic classes, immigration status, and levels of academic preparation and faith formation. There are also specialized ministries for Latino young adults in schools and universities, as well as for young people at high risk, incarcerated, and with diverse physical and mental needs, whether they are believers or non-believers.
We must pay attention to the life transitions of youth. It is necessary to create itineraries that favor the transition from youth ministry to young adult ministry, and from pastoral juvenil to young married couples or to adult ministry. It is particularly urgent that, after receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, there be continuity in faith formation and pastoral experience. Some ecclesial movements offer the possibility of continuing a journey of human, Christian, and spiritual formation as adults, which should also be common in all parishes.

Youth Ministry (adolescent years) and Pastoral Juvenil

The presence of Youth Ministry and Pastoral Juvenil with young Latinos in the parish is fundamental for them to feel welcomed in the Church and to mobilize the youth in each diocese of the country. It is urgent to offer them a continuous human, Christian, and missionary formation, and support in their vocational discernment. We invite all lay leaders, religious, deacons, and priests to spend time listening to young people, to encourage and accompany them. It is vital to create spaces where they can gather as a small community of faith and invite them to serve in different ministries, considering pastoral juvenil itself as a ministry.

Young Adult Ministry and Pastoral Juvenil

Young Adult Ministry and Pastoral Juvenil, besides helping young adults to grow in their faith and spirituality, as well as to work together for the Kingdom of God, is very enriching for the ecclesial community. This ministry is a seedbed for religious vocations, priestly vocations, and vocations to the professional lay apostolate. The experiences, knowledge, and commitment of young adults are very valuable as leaders in youth ministry (with adolescents).
Adult Ministry and catechesis are enriched when they include jóvenes who have grown up in a path of formation and mission thanks to pastoral juvenil. We call for special attention to be given to young couples, who miss sharing the faith with their peers and often lack the support of mature families in the parish or ecclesial movements.

School and Campus Ministry

School and Campus Ministry in schools, colleges and universities needs to take into account the realities of the academic world and the urgent needs of Hispanic/Latino students. The presence of pastoral agents and programs suitable for Hispanics/Latinos varies greatly in Catholic institutions and is often lacking or nonexistent in the public institutions attended by the majority of Hispanic/Latino college students. The National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, LaRED, is committed to promoting and supporting Hispanic/Latino campus ministry, which requires immediate attention.
We invite parish communities to ask the Holy Spirit for the necessary gifts to extend their outreach to nearby public universities. Communities that have experience in this type of apostolate can share with others resources, experiences, and challenges met so that all of us in the Church can ensure that Hispanic/Latino young people feel supported during the difficult years of higher education. Pastoral centers in Catholic universities can collaborate with parishes and ecclesial movements to help them discover and learn how to carry out this type of apostolate, which is so necessary for students, as well as for the impact it will have on young people who will hold positions of responsibility in their adult life.
We recognize that many young Hispanics/Latinos are preparing for the workforce in trade and employment programs outside of a college or university. We must be sure to invite them to be part of young adult communities.

Ecclesial Movements

Ecclesial movements are an abundant source of inspiration and new and necessary initiatives. In many cases they have succeeded in bringing people closer to the Church; people who ministers and religious have not been able to reach. The apostolate of the laity – be it in the parish or in ecclesial movements – is enriched when it works with jóvenes. We invite you to adopt the conclusions of the First National Encounter for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry (2006) that are still valid to guide your efforts at the local, diocesan, regional and national levels.

Prophetic Voices

The V Encuentro process (2018) identified new expectations and included recommendations for leadership formation, specific attention to young Latinas at all levels of the Church, as well as for the promotion of vocational discernment and ongoing formation for growth in faith. During the V National Encuentro, we were all deeply touched by the unprecedented experience where jóvenes were able to dine at the same table with the bishops, who listened to them attentively and encouraged them with their pastoral words. In a totally spontaneous gesture, the young people at one table extended their hands to pray for the bishop who was with them. Little by little, at each table the young people prayed for their bishops, bearing witness that the same Holy Spirit encourages young people and pastors to join in the same mission. We encourage all faith communities to allow themselves to be surprised by the Holy Spirit: when we make room at the table for the youth, young people bless us with their talents, gifts, and generosity.


Links / Sponsors

Jóvenes ~ Youth and Young Adults
Pastoral Juvenil: Prophetic Voices, Protagonists of Hope

The Virgin Mary, with her yes given to God as a young girl, became God’s instrument for the incarnation of the Son, in history and for the salvation of humanity (Lk 1:26-35). Pope Francis tells us that “true youth means having a heart capable of loving” (CV 13), and “youth is an original and stimulating stage of life, which Jesus himself experienced, thereby sanctifying it” (CV 22).


To get to this vision, the Journeying Together planning team, with the support of the bishops of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, decided that it would be helpful to carry this process out in five distinct stages that build upon one another:

Jóvenes Adultos Para Cristo

Como “Asociación Jóvenes Para Cristo/Young Adults for Christ” estamos llamados a evangelizar. AJPC/YAFC como la palabra lo dice, es una asociación de fieles laicos que han tomado la tarea de llevar la Buena Nueva a todas las personas como lo hizo Jesús.
Dios nos hace el llamado de prepararnos como lideres cristianos capaces de responder a las necesidades de nuestra historia, de tal manera que reflejamos al Señor Jesús en cada una de nuestras acciones.

Catholic Volunteer Network

Catholic Volunteer Network fosters and promotes full-time domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. As the leading membership organization of Christian volunteer and mission programs, we support and enhance the work of our members through volunteer recruitment, training and resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy.

2020-2030 Decade of Pastoral Juvenil:

To revitalize the action of the Church in the United States with regard to Hispanic/Latino youth and young adults
2021-2023: Year by Year Strategies and Objective



“Were not our hearts burning within us?” After the V Encuentro, the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (LaRED) “set out at once” (Lk 24: 32-33) to proclaim a Decade for Pastoral Juvenil 2020-2030 to revitalize the action of the Church with Hispanic/Latino young people in the United States.

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