Youth synod energizes outreach, vocation efforts
YOUNG PEOPLE from around the world had an opportunity to give input at the international bishops synod held in October 2018 that focused on youth,
faith, and vocation discernment.
They communicated several mes-
sages that seemed to resonate with
the bishop participants, including:
• Church ministers are encour-
aged to go where young people
are. Listen to what they seek
from the church and walk with
them on their vocational and life
1899 chapel located on a peaceful stretch
of land near the Rio Grande. Federal plans
for the wall originally called for the chapel to be placed in a “no man’s land” on
the Mexico side between the wall and the
Rio Grande. Local opponents said the wall
would divide a parish community that is
accustomed to easily crossing the border,
and it would contribute to an increasingly
military feel in the now heavily patrolled
In February 2019, the chapel appeared
to be saved by a deal inserted into the U.S.
budget, but protests continued, with Snipes
still at the forefront.
Snipes is hoping that legal action—and
local resistance—will eventually nix the
wall for good and he can return to being the
EVEN BEFORE he began making head-
Snipes is pastor of Our Lady of Guada-
lines for his opposition
to a border wall that he
says would hurt his par-
ish in Mission, Texas,
Father Roy Snipes,
O.M.I., a Missionary
Oblates of Mary Im-
maculate priest, had a
big personality. Locals
call him the “cowboy
priest,” and he tends
to keep his three dogs next to the altar at
Mass. He frequently boats down the Rio
Grande from one part of his parish to the
next, literally straddling the border.
lupe Parish, which includes La Lomita, an
PRIEST’S MINISTRY BRIDGES BORDER
• Young people prefer to be
heard without judgment, even if
their ideas about faith may not
always be orthodox.
• Young people long for a connection to God, and many seek
help making that connection.
• While they seek wisdom, young
people also desire opportunities
to lead, to help shape the church.
Learn more about the synod and
find related documents at www.
THE LA LOMITA historic
landmark chapel that
Father Roy Snipes, O.M.I.
wants to preserve.
YOUNG CATHOLICS met with Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster prior
to the youth synod.
AS DIRECTOR of Caritas Los Teques in Venezuela, Sister
María José González, ccjes, has
been working to help a group in
acute need: hungry children. In
a country hard hit by economic
and political crises, where 90
percent of households have a
substandard diet, González runs
a food program in the Mirandas
region. One effect of hyperin-flation in Venezuela has been
that average families cannot
purchase enough food for three
nutritious meals a day.
SISTER LEADS THE
FIGHT ON HUNGER
SISTER MARÍA JOSÉ González, ccjes,
is director of Caritas Los Teques, a
social service program responding
to critical needs in Venezuela.