The path leading up to the Synod of Bishops is a long journey. The synodal process doesn’t simply begin when the Synod begins. Many steps are involved in bringing about a fruitful and productive discussion.
In 2016, Pope Francis announced the theme for the 2018 Synod of Bishops: “Young people, the faith, and vocational discernment”. The following year, the Working Document
was published, along with an online questionnaire to which young people could respond. The Church insisted she wanted the direct involvement of young people. Then, in October 2017, the Holy Father invited them to a week-long meeting to further the preparatory work of the Synod Fathers.
From March 19-25, three hundred young people from around the world will be in Rome for a pre-synodal meeting. It is one more step in helping to pave the way for the upcoming Synod of Bishops (October 3-28, 2018). Over the course of the week, the delegates will take part in large group and small language group discussions, and respond to 15 questions. Their answers will be synthesized into one Final document to be presented to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on their final day. The results of the pre-Synod will be incorporated into the Instrumentum laboris
(Working document), the basis for the Synod Fathers’ deliberations next October.
In March, the young delegates were individually chosen by their country’s episcopal conference. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is sending two delegates: Jacob Dustyhorn
and Emilie Callan
. Jacob is a university student in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Emilie is an ambassador and producer at Salt + Light TV in Toronto, Ontario.