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Archbishop pens open letter to youth

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney leaves the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 28. The Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

In a direct message to the young people of Sydney following the closing of the Synod for Youth the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP has re-dedicated himself to serving them and alongside them.

The three-week Synod on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment concluded yesterday with Pope Francis celebrating the closing Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

In an open letter to the young people of Sydney Archbishop Fisher explained that as the Synod’s final document may take “some time” to appear in English translation, he wanted to convey his thoughts from the event as he made his way home to them.

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The Archbishop said that the Synod Fathers have heard the hopes and concerns of young people, are “excited by their gifts and aspirations”, and are sorry for the ways that people in the Church have let them down, he wrote.

However, he added, “we are convinced Christ and the Church have so much to offer you” and that “you have so much to offer Christ and his Church”.

Young people
Synod youth delegates arrive for a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican on 16 October. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

“I rededicate myself to listening to you, helping you discern your vocation, teaching, leading and sanctifying you, and serving alongside you to make a better Church and better world.”

The Archbishop recommended St John the disciple as an example of a young person who heard and followed Christ’s call and “never lost his fiery enthusiasm and noisiness”.

At the closing Mass on 28 October Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, read an open letter to the world’s young people from all the members of the Synod of Bishops.

The open letter expresses the Synod Fathers’ hopes that their own failings would not drive the young from the Church and their desire to encourage young people and help them to fulfil their dreams.

“Our frailties and sins must not be an obstacle for your trust,” they wrote.

“The Church is your mother; she does not abandon you; she is ready to accompany you on new roads, on higher paths where the winds of the Spirit blow stronger — sweeping away the mists of indifference, superficiality and discouragement.”

The special letter, approved by the Synod, was drafted by an international commission that included four bishops, two young women, the leader of the Taize community and an Italian priest, all of whom took part in the Synod.


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