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Our Mission

To serve the United States Bishops, both collectively and individually, in their ministry to Youth and Young Adults.

Our Staff


Dominic Lombardi, STL
Executive Director, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth

Paul Jarzembowski
Assistant Director for the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth

Youth and Young Adult Intern

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Young Adult Ministry


Pope Francis launched a Synod process in October 2016, seeking to provide a Catholic response to the reality of young people in connection to faith, the community of the Church, and each one’s vocational calling. That journey continued through to the Synod of Bishops in October 2018 and the subsequent release of Christus Vivit, Pope Francis' post-synodal apostolic exhortation, in April 2019. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis writes “to young people and to the entire people of God,” and shares his insights on the accompaniment, engagement, and vocational mission of youth and young adults. We recommend visiting our online guide for Christus Vivit, and our Upcoming Opportunities page for upcoming opportunities related to discussing and implementing Christus Vivit.

couple at computer
bride-groom-getty-images-homeA man and his son kneel at a Mass celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, Wis. on July 4 to close the U.S. bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass)

Who Are Young Adults?

Young adults are persons in their late teens, twenties, and thirties who represent diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, vocational, social, political, and spiritual backgrounds. They are college students, workers, and professionals; they are persons in military service; they are single, married, divorced, or widowed; they are with or without children; they are newcomers in search of a better life.

Important Resources

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Documents for Young Adults

Resources for Young Adults

Resources for Young Adult Ministry Leaders

USCCB National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry

World Youth Day Information and Resources

Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment (2018)

About Our Office

In service to the bishops of the United States, the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth aims to provide support and guidance for the pastoral work towards youth and young adults in light of the New Evangelization. By connecting with dioceses and Catholic youth and young adult ministry organizations across the United States, the USCCB offers a network of resources and information that can foster growth in the Church's outreach and ministry with youth and young adults.

Ministering to Young Adults

"There are many opportunities to touch the lives of young adults, and these should be seen as moments for evangelizing outreach. Some of these may require a change in the way we approach evangelization so our outreach is more dynamic, taking the Church into the community where young adults gather rather than waiting for these men and women to come to us." -Sons and Daughters of the LightIn ministry and catechesis with young adults, several important themes need to be emphasized: the formation of conscience, education for love, vocational discernment, Christian involvement in society, missionary responsibility in the world, the relationship between faith and reason, the existence and meaning of God, the problem of evil, the Church, the objective moral order in relation to personal subjectivity, the relationship between man and woman, and the social doctrine of the Church.


  • To connect young adults with Jesus Christ through spiritual formation/direction, religious education/formation, and vocational discernment.To connect young adults to the Church through evangelizing outreach, formation of the faith community, and pastoral care.
  • To connect young adults with the mission of the Church in the world through forming a Christian conscience, educating and developing leaders for the present and future.
  • To connect young adults with a peer community through developing peer leadership and identifying a young adult team for the purpose of forming faith communities of peers.


  • Young adults have been captivated by the consumerism and materialism of the society in which they grew up and have became apathetic and cynical. 
  • Young adulthood is sometimes a world of boredom, disillusionment, and indifference to the Church. 
  • Young adults need a non-threatening place where they can freely express their questions, doubts, and even disagreements with the Church and where the teachings of the Church can be clearly articulated and related to their experience.
  • Young adults make some of the most important decisions in their lives about their Christian vocation, their career, and their choice of spouse.

For more details, read the complete entry on "Catechesis of Young Adults" from the National Directory for Catechesis; USCCB, 2005.

U.S. Bishops' Prayer for Young Adults

Gracious and Loving God,
Help these young men and women to be a light for all the world to see,
in all the places they live and work. Let their light shine for all peoples:
for their families,
for their church communities,
for their cultures and societies,
for the economic and political systems,
for the whole world.
Coming into the room where the disciples were gathered after the resurrection,
"Jesus, your son, said: Peace be with you!" (Jn 20:21).
Make these men and women bearers of Christ's peace.

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
Teach them the meaning of what was said on the mountain:
for they shall be called sons and daughters of God" (cf. Mt 5:9).
Send them, Father, as you sent your son:
to free their brothers and sisters from fear and sin.
We ask this of you, in Christ's name. Amen.

Adapted from the Papal Homily for WYD 1995, Manila


Sons and Daughters of the Light

Cover of Sons and Daughters of the LightIn 1996, on the eve of the third millennium, the bishops of the United States promulgated "Sons and Daughters of the Light," a document on pastoral ministry to young adults. Young adults, who range from 18-39 years of age, make up a large part of the Church and have the potential to contribute greatly toward the Christian mission. Noting that outreach to young adults has been largely neglected in the past, and that young adults provide a valuable and unique perspective to and for ministry that must be seriously considered, the U.S. bishops aimed to create a strategic plan to integrate young adults into the life of the Church in America, by taking into careful consideration the various stages of life and circumstances in which young adults find themselves.

Read Sons and Daughters of the Light
(online version)

Order your own copy of Sons and Daughters of the Light


 Resources and Opportunties

Looking for a young adult ministry in your area?

View our diocesan list below to see if your diocese has a young adult ministry and how to contact them.

Please note that not every diocese has a webpage, or sometimes even an office appointed for young adult ministry. For such dioceses on this list, the links provided direct you to the office that currently handles young adult ministry (e.g. adult faith formation, evangelization, youth ministry, etc.)

Note (Sept 2019): This document is temporarily unavailable for needed updates.

*If you notice that your diocese's information is incorrect or needs to be updated, please contact our office at or 202-541-3044.

Young Adult Ministry in a Box

Busted Halo Ministries, in collaboration with the national and diocesan young adult ministry leaders, has developed a collection of the best practices in young adult pastoral ministry and evangelization called "Young Adult Ministry in a Box." This resource includes easy-to-follow young adult activities, tips from experienced veterans, and a guide giving an overview and basics of the ministry field.

Learn more about the resource and sign up at:

Young Adult Ministry Conferences

The National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry hosts gatherings for all in the Church interested in improving ministry to and with young adults in the Church. Resources from these gatherings are available at the following links.

USCCB National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry

In 2016, the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have set up a special National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry to serve as nationwide network, resource group, and consulting body on the issues of young adult ministry and evangelization. This was developed in the wake of the dissolution of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA), which served Catholic leaders across the United States 1982 to 2016. The Advisory Team's mandate from the Committee includes:

  1. To provide ongoing input and feedback on young adult ministry to the bishops
  2. To provide pastoral support to parish and diocesan leaders in the field
  3. To develop a national coalition of young adult ministry leaders

The Advisory Team is comprised of about 20 parish, campus, diocesan, and organizational representation from across the United States (listed below). The chairperson of the team is Diana Hancharenko, who also serves as young adult minister for St. Angela Merici Parish in Youngstown, Ohio. Diana can be reached at

Advisory Team Members

Diana Hancharenko, Chairperson
St. Angela Merici Parish, Youngstown OH; Young Adult Minister

Tracey Lamont, Vice-Chair
Loyola University New Orleans, Assistant Professor of Religious Education

Michal Horace, Vice-Chair
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, Director of Young Adult Initiative

Nicholas Stein
Bon Secours Young Adults Program Manager

Sean Allen
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Director of Young Adult Ministry

Peter Burak
i.d. 9:16, Director

Timone Davis
Loyola University Chicago, Assistant Professor - Institute of Pastoral Studies

Jason Deuterman
Diocese of Dallas, Director of the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries

Fr. Jonathan Kalisch, OP
Knights of Columbus, Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development

Gabriela Karaszewski
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Director of the Office of Young Adults and Campus Ministry

Colin Nykaza
Archdiocese of New York, Director of Young Adult Outreach

Patrick Rivera
Diocese of San Diego, Director of the Office for Young Adult Ministry

Darius Villalobos
National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Director of Multicultural Ministry

Brenda Noriega
Diocese of San Bernardino, Young Adult Programs Coordinator

Brian Rhude

Theology and Religious Studies Catholic University of America, Director for Summer Programs and Formation

Pope Francis walks with World Youth Day pilgrims as he arrives for a July 30 prayer vigil at the Field of Mercy in Krakow, Poland. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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