A closer look at Christus Vivit

April 2, 2019

Christus Vivit, Christ is alive: Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment


The Vatican released Pope Francis's newest post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, or a pastoral reflection, to young people and to the entire people of God on April 2. “Christus Vivit,” or “Christ Lives” in English, the pope’s reflections on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, is a combination letter to young people about their place in the church and a plea to older members of the church not to stifle the enthusiasm of the young, but to offer gentle guidance when needed.

Read the full text of the Christus Vivit, the pope's new apostolic exhortation.

“Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world.  The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” - (Christus Vivit #1)

Now more than ever...

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, with other leaders from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the Holy Father's message to young people and the people of God.

The Church of the United States welcomes this teaching from Pope Francis as the fruit of the synodal journey in which we walked with and listened to young people. This exhortation is a wonderful summons to the whole Church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those who are disconnected from the Church,  the statement said

Now more than ever, we must turn our attention to our young people and engage them as protagonists of the Church’s mission, the statement continued. Their insights can help us grow as a Church and guide us as we all learn to become better missionary disciples in an intercultural and intergenerational context. We look forward to the journey ahead, and pray with St. John Paul IIa patron of young people whose passing we remember today, for the Church’s ongoing mission to all generations. 

How will the Church respond to the dreams of young people?

The life of a young person and the vocation to which God calls each one is “holy ground” that pastors and parents must respect, nurture and encourage, Pope Francis wrote in a new apostolic exhortation, reported Catholic News Service.

In the document, Pope Francis talked about how the sex abuse crisis, a history of sexism and an overly narrow focus on just a handful of moral issues can keep young people away from the church.

 But he also said many young people want to know and understand the teachings of the church and, despite what many people think, they long for and need times of silent reflection and opportunities to serve their communities.

“A church always on the defensive, which loses her humility and stops listening to others, which leaves no room for questions, loses her youth and turns into a museum,” Pope Francis wrote. “How, then, will she be able to respond to the dreams of young people?”

The core of the pope’s message to young people was that they remember they are loved by God and saved by Jesus, who continues to live and act in the world and in their lives.

Several Archdiocesan ministry leaders have addressed the apostolic exhortation in advance of its April 2 publication

DiNardo: Choosing the invitation to embrace the cross

At the October 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, Cardinal DiNardo gave a public address to all those in attendance titled “Hail O Cross, our Only Hope,” which draws from the cardinal's episcopal motto. Read the entirety of his address here.

“The central event for our faith and life is recognizing, interpreting and choosing the invitation to embrace the cross,” he told his fellow bishops in the Vatican during the Synod Oct. 16, 2018

As the Catholic Church and its members strengthen their commitment to reaching out to young people, helping them “by dialogue to discern their way in the world and the Church for a deeper, more human life,” they cannot ignore the cross, the cardinal said.

“Jesus asks everyone he meets to ‘Follow me,’” he said. “His invitation is strong, not weak; decisive, not anemic.” Cardinal DiNardo noted how throughout the Gospels Jesus gradually reveals himself “as he beckons the Twelve, the crowds and us to the cross, to a crucified Messiah.”

“Jesus evangelizes through his identity as the crucified Lord,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “It is impossible not to see this throughout the Gospels.”

Cardinal DiNardo told synod members they should not hesitate to present the truth of faith to young people because they “are not fearful. They are willing for a sustained challenge to claim their identity.”

12 Things Pope Francis is telling Young People (and others, too)

By James Ramos/Texas Catholic Herald

On March 29, Pope Francis signed his new apostolic exhortation — called “Christus Vivit,” or “Christ Lives” in English — inside of The Basilica of the Holy House during a visit to Loreto on Italy’s coastline.

His reflections of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young people, the Faith and Vocational discernment, found in the exhortation, come nearly six months after the landmark event began.

In the document, Pope Francis speaks to both young adults and all of the others, the “entire people of God,” who make up the communities in which these young adults (like myself!) live.

Even if you’re not a young adult, even if you may not believe everything the Catholic Church may be teaching, the pope is speaking directly to you! In the third paragraph he writes: “with great affection, I address this Apostolic Exhortation to all Christian young people. It is meant to remind you of certain convictions born of our faith, and at the same time to encourage you to grow in holiness and in commitment to your personal vocation.”

 Let’s look at a handful of his new reflections. These aren’t in any order -- you can find the paragraph references at the end of each passage – and these are what stood out to me, other passages (I hope) will inspire you. Pour a drink and read over these, or the entire document if you’d like, and listen as Pope Francis speaks to you. Read more