Says some youth are ‘homeless,’ seeking truth and love
Charging them to “Go forth as missionary disciples,” the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut inspired some 1,200 teachers, principals, administrators, parish catechetical leaders, parish school of religion instructors and ministry volunteers from across the Diocese of Cleveland during a gathering on Aug. 10 at the Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State University campus.
Bishop Caggiano told audience members, who soon will be opening their school doors, that evangelization produces missionary disciples. He said that all are called to evangelize (spread the faith), catechize (teach the faith) and invite others to the faith. Pope Francis has challenged all Catholics to be missionary disciples for Christ.
The bishop, who is the son of Italian immigrants, asked those at the event to evangelize one person at a time. He cited the unique challenges for missionary disciples in the 21st century, particularly for those involved with educating young people.
”The group of persons in our young Church are homeless,” he said, noting that society no longer agrees on values and these “homeless” youth are looking for love and values. Bishop Caggiano also pointed out that the rise of technology, digital communication and social media are challenging the fabric of the society, particularly that of students. He said that students now seek truth through images rather than reason and that we need to respond accordingly in order to pass on the truths of the Catholic faith.
The gathering featured three students who applauded their Catholic schools and particularly their dedicated teachers for having influenced their lives in such positive ways.
The gathering concluded with Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel Thomas, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland, and concelebrated by Bishop Caggiano, who also was the homilist.
Catholic schools will begin the 2017-2018 school year as early as next week.