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Church workers must address the concerns of the young

Cindy Wooden - Catholic News Service International - Tue, Oct 25th 2016

Pope: Church workers must address the concerns of the young. The promotion of vocations must follow the same steps Jesus used when interacting with people  

In its ministry to young people, and especially in vocations promotion work, church workers must step out of the sacristy and take seriously the questions and concerns of the young, Pope Francis said.

Young people are searching for meaning, and the best response is to go out to where they are, stop and listen to them and then call them to follow Jesus, the pope said Oct. 21.

Meeting participants at a vocations promotion conference sponsored by the Congregation for Clergy, the pope emphasized the need for church workers to be on the move and to echo the vocations call Jesus used with the disciples, "Follow me."

"Jesus' desire is to set people out on a journey, moving them from a lethal sedentary lifestyle and breaking through the illusion that they can live happily while remaining comfortably seated amid their certainties," Pope Francis said.

The seeking and desire to explore that comes naturally to most young people "is the treasure that the Lord puts in our hands and that we must care for, cultivate and make blossom," the pope said.

Care is key, he said. It requires an ability for "discernment, which accompanies the person without ever taking over his or her conscience or pretending to control the grace of God."

Vocations promotion, which is the responsibility of every Catholic, the pope said, must follow the same steps Jesus used when interacting with people.

"Jesus stopped and met the gaze of the other, without rushing," he said. "This is what makes his call attractive and fascinating."

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