Cardinal Blase Cupich is the Archbishop of Chicago. He is one of the 29 bishops appointed personally by Pope Francis to participate in the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.
Together with some 300 brother Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and laypeople he is in the Vatican to listen to and to make his own contribution to the conversation which will conclude in the drawing up of a Final Document.
The issues brought to the table in the Synod Hall include sexuality, leadership in the Church, the role of women and how the Church can help young people navigate the digital world. And most of all: how should the Catholic Church engage with its youth and make them feel they are really part of the life of the Church?
Cardinal Cupich who has a message for young people says that right now, “listening” seems to be the key word at the Synod and a promise he will definitely take home.
Cardinal Cupich says that his message to young people is really prompted by what he is hearing the 36 auditors – who are taking part in the Synod – say.
The need to create more opportunities of encounter
“What comes as a surprise for many of the bishops is that young people are telling us they really would like to have more time with us to share their hopes and their dreams, and get to know us on a personal level” he says.
Cardinal Cupich reveals that he is hearing from many bishops that after this experience they are going to look at their schedules and carve out time to make there are more opportunities and occasions for meeting and sharing.
He says he has always enjoyed his exchanges with young people in the archdiocese of Chicago, exchanges that take place mainly during rallies and special Masses, but he says, “We need to be more creative in providing additional opportunities to get together”.
“I am very much energized when I come together with young people” the Cardinal says revealing he has had a number of occasions to do so even since the beginning of the Synod.
“The message I would like to give young people is: ‘thank you for saying what’s in your heart’ (…) I’m going to look for more ways in my own ministry to be attentive, be present and available to young people”.