The Roman Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Portland is seeking the opinion of young adults about how the church can become more relevant to them and to the communities in which they live.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley has invited all Maine young people ages 16 to 29 to participate in a special survey posted on the diocese’s website in advance of a Vatican Synod of Bishops in October.
A synod is a unique meeting of bishops from around the world who gather to discuss specific topics and then give advice to the pope regarding challenging issues confronting the church.
The theme for this particular synod is “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” and was set forth earlier this year by Pope Francis, who urged young adults to help the church by expressing their opinion about a variety of topics.
The Catholic Church remains the largest organized religion in Maine, with approximately 170,000 members statewide, and it has seen its population in the state increase in recent years after more than two decades of decline.
“Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherd of souls,” Pope Francis wrote in an open letter to Catholics this spring.
Deeley said feedback from the diocese survey provides young Maine adults an opportunity to offer opinions, viewpoints and suggestions.
According to Deeley, survey results will be tabulated and sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for part of a report that will be submitted to the Vatican.
“The results from young people in Maine will also assist the diocese in our own planning as we look for ways in which to better engage them in the church,” Deeley said.
The diocese coordinator for youth and young adult ministry, Maureen Provencher, will study surveys as they are submitted, the bishop said.
“She’ll report what the voices of our young people are saying to us as we plan ministries not only for them, but with them,” Deeley said. “Parish life will be…