Pope Francis has asked young people to tell him, their bishops and other pastors about their hopes and struggles and criticisms to help inform next year’s synod of bishops.

In a letter to the world’s youth the Pope said that the Church wanted “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.”

The Pope’s letter was released as officials presented the preparatory document for the synod, which is focused on young people. The text includes a series of questions to be answered by national conferences of bishops and other Church bodies. The responses, along with input from young people themselves, will form the basis of the working document for the synod.

Pope Francis chose “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” as the theme for the 15th general assembly of the synod of bishops, which will be held in October 2018.

Young people will have an opportunity to contribute to the working document by submitting reflections “on their expectations and their lives” through a website – sinodogiovani.va – which will be launched in the first week of May, according to Bishop Fabio Fabene, undersecretary of the synod of bishops.

In his letter, Pope Francis used God’s call to Abraham as a model of God’s call to each believer. The patriarch, he said, “received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this ‘new land’ for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?

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