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Symposium looks at challenges of youth formation


Sean Reynolds, director of the office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, leads the March 5 Boston Symposium on Adolescent Catechesis at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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Youth ministers, clergy, religious educators and diocesan leaders gathered March 5 at the Pastoral Center to join in a national conversation on the challenges facing adolescent catechesis in the United States.

The first annual Boston Symposium for Adolescent Catechesis was a first of its kind cross-discipline gathering of those who play a part in the formation of young Catholics in the archdiocese. The effort was jointly sponsored by the archdiocese’s offices for Catholic Schools, Religious Education and the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.

The daylong-conference was led by Sean Reynolds, a professional speaker and director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The symposium focused on the challenges presented by the results of a recent study conducted by The National Study of Youth and Religion and suggested fresh new directives for raising young people in the faith. The study, conducted in 2002-2003, showed that among major religious denominations, the Catholic Church was least effective in transmitting the faith to its young people.

In his opening address, Cardinal O’Malley set the tone for the symposium, urging the attendees that now, more than ever, “We must continue to walk with our young people, to accompany them on their journey of faith, in the midst of an increasingly hostile culture.”

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