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Synod of Bishop 2018

“Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”

— Letter of Pope Francis to Young People (13 January 2017)

Synod 2018

During October 3-28, 2018, Catholic bishops from around the world will gather in Rome for the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”.

The synod is an opportunity for the bishops to discuss with one another and to advise the Holy Father on issues that are important to the Church. In this synod, they will also listen to the voices of young people who have been invited to speak at the synod as representatives from various parts of the world. The bishops will consider the concrete challenges faced by young people, Catholic and non-Catholic, across the world today and how the Church may be called to accompany them along the path of discernment, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and living the life of love and truth that is the vocation of every human person. Throughout the month of October, Salt + Light will be bringing you a variety of programming to keep you up-to-date on all that is happening inside the synod.

Here are some of the programs that will be on offer:
  • Broadcasts of important public events from the synod
  • A weekly show hosted by Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann and featuring exclusive interviews and summaries of the week’s discussions
  • Regular updates and highlights from the synod on our daily news program: Perspectives Daily

Information on Pre-Synod 2018

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.
Emilie Callan
Jacob Jason



Fr. Thomas Rosica

Ms. Emilie Callan

Mr. Julian Paparella

Mr. Prevain Devendran

Ms. Allyson Kenny

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB

The Vatican has appointed Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, as a member of the Commission for Information of the Synod of Bishops. He will work closely with the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications in daily communications with world media.

Ms. Emilie Callan

Emilie, born in Cornwall, Ontario, is a Producer in our Parish and Community Outreach Program and has worked for Salt and Light TV for the past four years. She has a degree in Theatre and French Literature from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining the Salt and Light family, Emilie was a lay campus missionary with Catholic Christian Outreach, a national movement focused on evangelization of young adults on university campuses.

Mr. Julian Paparella

Julian, from London, Ontario, is a graduate student of theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris and has worked at Salt and Light for the past seven summers as writer, host and editor. Julian is currently a Campus Minister at Montreal’s Newman Centre on the campus of McGill University. Together with Emilie Callan, Julian co-hosted last October’s National Television Forum in preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops.

Mr. Prevain Devendran

Prevain, a native of Toronto, holds a law degree and is the Manager of Operations at Salt and Light. He is also currently a part-time student of theology at Regis College in Toronto.

Ms. Allyson Kenny

Allyson, born in Burlington, Ontario, is an Associate Producer at Salt and Light. She has a degree in International Development Studies & Sociology and a Master’s of Business in Public Relations from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She has also studied theology and catechesis with a particular focus on Catholic social teaching and youth evangelization.


Perspectives on the Synod: Week 3

Friday, October 19, 2018 - Deacon Pedro and Sebastian Gomes return with the fourth installment of Perspectives on the Synod, looking at the developments from the third week of the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This week, Sebastian speaks with Sr. Laurence Loubières, XMCJ about Vocational Discernment, Fr. Tom Rosica, CSB sends a report from Rome and they are joined live by Julian Paparella who had the chance to address the bishops this week.

Youth Synod Week Two: Interview with Synod Auditor Emilie Callan

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek speak with Synod Auditor Emilie Callan about Week Two at the Synod, including the topics emerging from the small language groups. Emilie is S+L's Community Outreach Coordinator and was appointed to the Synod by Pope Francis.

Will the sexual abuse crisis impact the Synod?

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek discuss the impact of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis on the Youth Synod.

Youth Synod Week Two Themes

Fr. Thomas Rosica speaks about the topics at the Synod during week two. Fr. Rosica is serving as the English Language Assistant for the Synod's Commission for Information.

Youth Synod: Reports from the small language groups published

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek review the published reports from the small language groups ("circoli minori") during week two of the Synod on Youth.
 Click here for the report

Perspectives on the Synod: Week 2

Friday, October 12, 2018 - Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes and Fr. Matthew Gworek return with the third installment of Perspectives on the Synod, looking at the developments from the second week of the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This week, they are joined live by Emilie Callan in Rome who speaks of her experiences in the small language groups.

Youth Synod Week One: Interview with Allyson Kenny

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek speak with S+L correspondent Allyson Kenny about Week One at the Synod, including the topics emerging from the hall. Allyson is in Rome working for the Synod's social media team.

Bishops from China at Youth Synod

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek discuss the presence of two Bishops from mainland China at the Youth Synod in Rome for the first time in the Synod's history.

Pope's Opening Address at Youth Synod

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek analyze Pope Francis' opening address at the Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment on October 3, 2018.

The Synod Format: See, Judge, Act

Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek break down the 3-week format of the Synod on Youth. A 3-stage "See, Judge, Act" model has been adopted.

Perspectives on the Synod: Week 1

Friday, October 5, 2018 - Join Deacon Pedro, Sebastian Gomes, and Fr. Matt Gworek for an all new Perspectives on the Synod. This week they recap events from week 1 of the synod, delve into the pope’s opening address, and explain the synod format. Fr. Thomas Rosica and Allyson Kenny join them with a report from Rome.

Julian Paparella: what I'm going to tell the Synod of Bishops (AUDIO ONLY)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - The Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Discernment opened on Wednesday in the Vatican. One of the young people invited to attend and to address the Synod talks about his hopes, expectations, and even about the issues he intends to raise.
Vatican News

Perspectives on the Synod: What to Expect

Friday, September 28, 2018 - Bishops from around the world are gathering in Rome for the Synod on Youth. Deacon Pedro and his two guests, Synod veteran Sebastian Gomes and Synod delegate Emilie Callan reflect on the history of synods, the atmosphere leading up to this year’s synod, and speculate on what we might hear from the synod fathers and delegates.

about the Youth Synod 2018

 1. What's a Synod?
The Synod of Bishops is an ecclesiastical (Church) body established by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in 1965. It was set up to foster “the unity and cooperation of bishops around the world with the Holy See.” Synods of Bishops meet at the request of the Holy Father, when he considers it necessary or opportune to consult with the world’s bishops on topics that pertain to the entire Church; these kinds of sessions can be either Ordinary or Extraordinary. The Synod of Bishops can also meet in a Special Assembly (or Session) on topics that pertain to a limited geographical area.
 2. Who's head of the Synod?
The President of the Synod is the current Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Synod also has a General Secretary, who is currently Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. Check out the Witness Interview with Cardinal Baldisseri
 3. Who takes part in the Synod?
Several hundred bishops participate in the synod, elected by the bishops’ conferences of each country. Other participants include the heads of Eastern Catholic Churches, members of religious institutes, cardinals who head Vatican offices and special papal appointees. Although they have no voting role, lay men and women are often participants too. For example, during the recent synod on the family, there were 18 married couples.This synod will include young men and women from around the world, including Emilie Callan and Julian Paparella from Salt + Light.
 4. What’s the purpose of a Synod? What's its goal?
Synods are not parliaments where in order to reach a consensus, participants (Synod Fathers and delegates) start to negotiate, making deals and compromises. The only method in the synod is to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to arrive at a real consensus inspired by the Holy Spirit.
 5. What’s the theme of the Synod?
Pope Francis chose as the October 2018 Ordinary Synod topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” The Pope has clearly stated that the entire Church wants to listen to young people: to what they are thinking, to what they want, to what they criticize and to what they are sorry for. Everything. The Pope wants the Church to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective way to announce the Good News today.
 6. Where does the Synod take place?
The Synod takes place in the Synod Hall located above the Paul VI Audience Hall inside Vatican City. It begins with an opening mass in St. Peter’s Basilica followed by 3 weeks of formal sessions that involve attentive listening to individual “interventions” (short presentations) of each bishop and appointed delegate and hours spent in small working groups in the official languages of the Synod: English, Italian, Spanish, French and German. It ends with a big, concluding mass.
 7. How do we get ready for the Synod on Youth?
There are several documents that we should read in order to understand what will be happening at the synod.

To prepare for the October 2018 Synod, Pope Francis wrote a Letter to Young People, dated January 13, 2017. In that letter he recommended that young people read the Preparatory Document as an effective tool in its preparation. The letter also contains some very good reflection questions for young people around the world. Pope Francis refers to this document as a “compass” in the journey leading up to the synod.

On June 19, 2018, the Instrumentum laboris (Working document) for the synod was released. This is the document that the bishops will use to guide their discussions. It brings together the fruit of surveys, discussions from the pre-synod meeting, and concerns voiced by bishops’ conferences. It also identifies the specific topics that the bishops will address.


 8. What does “youth” mean? What is the age group? Youth of any particular states of life?
The Synod will focus on youth between the ages of 16-29, and will be aimed at this particular age group and their pastoral needs. When speaking of the states of life and the vocational journey of young people towards them, “vocation” means the pathway to marriage, ordained ministry, and consecrated life.
 9. What are the Pope’s concerns for youth today?
One of the most important questions that Pope Francis asks is: How can young people resist these two extremes of being against the Church or living without the Church but choosing to be within the Church, actively participating in her life? How can they seek and find God in the people, events and experiences which they encounter and embark on a communal and mutual path of human, spiritual and cultural growth?
 10. What are some of the key words of the Pope’s Letter to Young People?
Three key words guide young people in their own discernment: “to recognize”, “to interpret” and “to choose.” These three verbs summarize the essence of “vocational discernment.” “To recognize” is to look within oneself; “to interpret” is to see what is both positive and negative; “to choose” is to make a decision for the good.
 11. Are there any desired goals for this unique Synod on Youth?
Three other verbs are also key to the theme of this Synod: “to go out”, “to see,” and “to call.” “To go out” is to abandon a “mentality” which pigeonholes people; “to see” is to spend time with young people so as to hear their personal stories; and “to call” is to reawaken desires, to free people from what might hold them captive and to ask questions which have no ready-made answers.
 12. Is this Synod for a select group of young people or for all youth?
The Synod is meant to be the Synod for all young people. Pope Francis has said: “Even young people who consider themselves agnostics; whose faith is lukewarm; who no longer go to Church. Even young people who consider themselves atheists. …This is the Synod of young people and we want to listen to one another. Every young person has something to say to others. He or she has something to say to adults, something to say to priests, sisters, bishops and even the Pope. All of us need to listen to you!”


As the synod on youth wraps up its third week, we hear from two of the youth delegates and two bishops attending the synod. ...read more
Julian Paparella’s Synodal Intervention
Read the full text of the intervention given at the synod by S+L's Julian Paparella. ...read more
Vocation Myths | Part 2
Read about Vocation Myth #2 in which Kristina Glicksman discusses whether or not laypeople should have access to spiritual direction. ...read more
How do you reach out to youth who are not even looking for God? Bishop Robert Barron asks at the synod - and other stories. ...read more
? During today’s weekly general audience, the pope made it very clear that the commandment, “Thou Shall Not Kill”, means more than just physical murder. Here are the stories that we covered on today’s episode of Perspectives Daily: Thou Shall Not Kill, means more than most people think. Br. Alois of Taizé addresses the world media. ...read more
On World Food Day today, Pope Francis asserts that more needs to be done now to help those who go hungry - and other stories. ...read more
Synod 2018: Reports from the Small Language Groups II
This week at the synod, the 14 small language groups have presented reports on discussions about vocation and discernment. Read them here. ...read more
The much anticipated Canonization Mass took place in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, October 14. The Holy Father officially declared seven men and women as new saints of the Church. The seven who were entered into the canon of saints were Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Óscar Romero, Fr. Vincenzo Romano, Fr. Francesco Spinelli, Mother Maria ...read more


Taking the Pulse EP4 –
Interview with Pre-Synod Delegate Emilie Callan

Pre-Synod Day 1 on Perspectives

Pre-synod 2018
Pope Francis Meeting on Young People (Part 2)

Pre-synod 2018
Pope Francis Meeting on Young People (Part 1)



Salt + Light TV presents a nationally televised forum with young Canadians, Cardinal Kevin Farrell and Pope Francis to prepare for the October 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth.


In preparation for the Synod on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann speaks with young people, taking their pulse on some of the big questions in life, and tries to identify the most effective ways to announce the Good News to young people today.


The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World focused largely on the family, language and church teaching.


From September 22-25, thousands of families from around the world will meet in Philadelphia, PA, the city of brotherly love. Started by Saint John Paul II in 1992 the World Meeting of Families takes place in a different country every three years and seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family life while giving families an opportunity to meet and celebrate together....


How is the Spirit calling you to discipleship? Join host, Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann, for a LIVE web-streamed discussion with a panel of young religious and young Catholics who are discerning their vocation.