You are not alone; there is a great resource for young adults

June 14, 2016

I would like to start by saying that the answer is no, you are not alone. There is a specific office that responds to this need for young adults. We also have the support of a team call Pastoral de Conjunto (Pascon). These are young adults who have given themselves to God through service to Pastoral Juvenil Hispana. They are young adults trained, and still carrying a continuous and comprehensive formation. 

I say this because it is thought that there are no resources to work or take care of this ministry, in this case with Hispanic young adults. 

Statistics are saying we are the majority that are moving away from the Church. However, nothing is done to begin to answer these statistics. I mean from the point of view of some adults. 

I have encountered many adults who only say that young people do nothing and do not want to get involved. Realize I’m saying some not all. The question is what support have you given the young adults? Have you motivated and evangelized them through your example so they can say I want to participate in what the Church has to offer? Rather, what support have you sought to respond to this reality?

Let me introduce some of the resources with which the office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry has to support to begin a pastoral juvenil in their parish. 

The Young Adults’ office has two full-time people: Director Gabriela Karaszewski and myself. As mentioned earlier we have the PasCon team, as well. However, the office has many other resources that help to support, accompany and guide better groups of la Pastoral Juvenil Hispana. 
One of our greatest resources is the Faith and Life Institute. They have developed training to empower young adults in leadership for almost 22 years. 

Twice a year our office offers a program from the institute called Formation Course on Pastoral Juvenil where the young adult and the adult who support young adults come and learn the basics of what it is to work with a group of young adults in the United States. This course gives them the guidelines to recognize the need to start a young adult group if one does not exist. For those who are already part of an established group it helps to recognize the areas that need to be improved. We also have the whole series of books: “Prophets of Hope,” “Agents of Hope,” “Builders of Hope,” “La Biblia Catolica para Jovenes” and the “Youth Bible Mission.”

In addition, for more than 6 years, we have brought the book of the Pascua Juvenil from the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI). This book is written by the Hispanic young adults from the Southeast where they themselves choose the theme of the book and accompany by adult advisers write it. 

The last three books are “You’ve got a message: Yes, he is talking to you” (2014), “A Church shaking things up. Do you accept the challenge?” (2015) and “Mercy: Seeing everything through the eyes of God” (2016). 

As you see, the topics chosen are issues with which the young adults can relate and learn a lot more from, the book is divided into 6 weeks and a retreat, and every week is divided into different sections. You are not alone, all you need to do is be ready to learn how to support Hispanic young adults in your community. 

Mirna Ochoa is a coordinator for the Archdiocesan Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.