Hopes and Dreams of Millennial Catholics

In the May issue, Christ is our Hope magazine ran short profiles of young adults, asking them about their  hopes and dreams as millennial Catholics. Because of space considerations, not all answers were able to make it into the magazine. Here are the ones that didn’t:

The following are answers from Deisy Cano, a parishioner at St. Pius X in Lombard.

What are your hopes and dreams?

Right now my hopes and dreams are to become a nurse and touch people’s lives by caring for them.

How can your gifts impact the future of young adult ministry in the Diocese of Joliet?

I am not sure what my gifts are just yet. Although, Elizabeth says I have a leadership skill of listening. By listening to the Latin@ young adults, we could listen to everyone’s needs.

Pope Francis is calling us to be “missionary disciples,” to get involved and support one another. How do you think young adults could respond to this call?

To be “missionary disciples” like the pope is calling us to be, I think we need to actively spend more time with each other and get to know what our struggles/ are. That way we can be able to support and get involved with one another. Dedicating time to a group or specific person would also be another way to get involved and be a supportive group.

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The following are answers from from Marlem Martinez, a young adult from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Joliet:

What are your hopes and dreams?

My hopes are to keep growing through this beautiful path that I have found. This amazing path is called Jesus of Nazareth. I have found the meaning of life since God has come to my life in 2013. I am hoping to become a good leader in my church and, with the grace of God, lead and teach young adults in my community. And let them know the importance to have God in our lives. Last week I was reading a beautiful reflection that impacted my life. “Listen to the word of God and practice it.” That is the definition that Jesus gives to become a good disciple.

Flowers are an amazing gift from God. My dream is to own a flower shop. Because I loved being a diversity and different color hues of flowers. Also, I love the contemplate their beauty and smell their natural fragrance. Another dream is to have a beautiful garden with most of my favorite flowers, such as: peonies, garden roses, alliums and magnolia trees. I would love to enjoy morning breakfast with a cup of coffee outside in my beautiful backyard and enjoying my beautiful flowers.

How can your gifts impact the future of young adult ministry in the Diocese of Joliet?

God has blessed me by giving me all parts of my body. And if God has given me arms, legs, eyes, ears, heart, etc., why not use every part to help others. By comforting the suffering, giving words of wisdom coming from the Holy Spirit — to see and help with the needs of the poor and to love my brothers and sisters just as God says in the new commandment. These are the gifts that God has blessed me with, and I will use them until they no longer function. I may not yet discover the rest of my gifts, but I know that God will present them to me, one by one, and I will take advantage of them in the service of God.

Pope Francis is calling us to be “missionary disciples,” to get involved and support one another. How do you think young adults could respond to this call?

First of all, young adults need to know their faith, second, experience God’s presence in their hearts to understand that Jesus is alive. By the cross and His resurrection He has given us eternal life. God will take away sickness, depression, etc., and He will give them a new life. They will want more and more of His presence, and this will make them change their families and community.

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The following answers are from Sebastian Rojas, a Notre Dame Echo apprentice at St. John the Baptist Parish in Winfield:

At this moment in my life, about to graduate with a master’s in theology, I don’t quite yet have a specific dream in mind. What I can say is that I want to use my knowledge, passions, and strengths to serve the Church and help people come closer to God. I want to share what I have been given. My hope is to lead others, not simply to the depth of faith that I have, but to an even deeper and more profound relationship with Christ than mine. I hope to help others believe and trust more deeply in God and to help them find ways to express and live this faith so that they too may bring others closer to God’s love.

The question of the role of young adults as missionary disciples is both simple and expansive. What is the one element that drives a missionary disciple? Love. But, naturally, learning to love others where they are in their faith, or even if they don’t have one, and genuinely accepting them how they are, letting go of uncharitable judgments, is where the plurality of what we do comes in. Those of us on fire with our faith ought to be unafraid in sharing this fire, but being careful not to burn anyone. First, we learn to kindle a flame from the fire that we carry, and then we nurture that flame into a fire that can hopefully even surpass our own. This involves relational ministry and getting our hands dirty with the reality that others live in. This involves knowing what kind of community and opportunities other young adults thirst for and providing them with these. This, at least, is my view of missionary disciples.