Annual Theme

“Dear young people, my joyful hope is to see you keep running the race before you, outstripping all those who are slow or fearful. Keep running, ‘attracted by the face of Christ, whom we love so much, whom we adore in the Holy Eucharist and acknowledge in the flesh of our suffering brothers and sisters. May the Holy Spirit urge you on as you run this race. The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them! And when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us.’”  -Pope Francis, Christus Vivit  (299) 

The theme which the Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries has chosen for the 2019-2020 year of ministry comes from Pope Francis’ closing message to young people in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation entitled Christus Vivit. Over a three-year process, Pope Francis challenged the Church to listen to young people to hear of their joys, their thoughts, and their concerns. At the end of the process, he wrote this letter to young people to let them know everything that he learned.

Within his letter, Pope Francis lists many problems within our culture that have a damaging effect on young people today. He speaks of the problems with our digital landscape and ideologies that cause hurt and pain. He speaks of various forms of abuse in our culture and in the Church. He addresses each of the reasons that young people say they have fallen away from the faith. 

What is the solution to each of these concerns? Jesus Christ. The kerygma. Hearing the Good News of a personal God who died and rose for your sins. This should not be communicated simply as a list of doctrine and moral issues, but rather as an exciting, life-long relationship with Jesus Christ. The very title of his letter says it all… “Christ is Alive!

Where can young people find Jesus and experience him on a daily basis? In his Church. 

Pope Francis’ final marching orders to young people is this: run this race. It is the race of life, but more importantly it is the race of life as an active member of his Church. “Run so as to win” (1 Cor. 9:24).  Outrun those who are holding you back. With your eye on Christ, allow your youthfulness to help the Church to grow. 

With this in mind, we wanted our logo for the year to be a clear symbol of the Catholic Church. Perhaps one of the most iconic images of the Catholic Church is St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It is known world-wide as a spiritual center of the Catholic Church, and perhaps all of Christianity. 

Throughout this year, we hope you will use Christus Vivit in your ministry with young people. We hope you will invite young people to become “protagonists of change” (174) in your ministry and in your community. We hope you will encourage young people to experience the joy of a life in Christ within his Church. Be a witness of our beautiful Catholic faith to young people. Run This Race.

If you would like copies of this image for your youth, campus, or young adult ministry, please email April with your request and a brief description of how you plan to use the logo

Post Card Resource

“It is impossible to grasp the concept of evangelization unless one tries to keep in view all its essential elements.” - EN 17

In order to assist you with understanding the Church’s language about the process of evangelization as well as contemporary verbiage we have provided a post card with what we hope will be some helpful visuals. Special thanks to the Diocese of Sioux Falls for the idea. See below for details.

front of card

Postcard Front

This graphic illustrates the process of evangelization as described in ecclesial documents. We have also provided you with references to these documents that will help explain the individual steps in greater detail.

EN – Evangelii Nuntiandi – Paul VI

RM – Redemptoris Missio – John Paul II 

CT – Catechesi Tradendae – John Paul II 

GDC – General Directory for Catechesis – Congregation for Clergy 

back of card

Postcard Back

The Five Thresholds of Conversion are the five steps that every person goes through on the path to discipleship as Sherry Weddell describes in her popular book, Forming Intentional Disciples. These steps are based on Doug Schaupp’s work in evangelization at UCLA. For a very informative description of these five steps please watch this short video by Fr. Robert Barron.

The Pyramid of Spiritual Commitment: Duffy Robins describes a typical youth ministry program as a “mixed bag of kids whose commitments are all over the place.” The Pyramid of Spiritual Commitment provides an illustration of this point. In his book Building a Youth Ministry that Builds Disciples he details what all of these spiritual commitments look like and later helps the reader understand what they can do to help teens move forward in their spiritual commitments.

The Four Earmarks of Discipleship are described in an article by Greg Ogden entitled, Making Disciples Jesus’ Way: A Few at a Time. In this article he discusses his observations on the necessary components for building true and lasting disciples. In this article he asserts that disciples are made in relationship, not programs. He goes on to outline four earmarks or hallmarks of how a disciple relationship differs from a program. We especially like that he outlines a way to do this most effectively in small groups and not in a one-on-one relationship. The full article can be downloaded here.


If you are interested in reproducing this postcard for your youth ministry program we have provided two versions for your convenience. The first is a pdf you can download and send to a printer to print your own copies of the postcard or you can download an 8.5 x 11 version that can easily be printed at your home or office.

If you have any questions on downloading or printing this resource please contact the Office of Youth Ministry at 703-841-2559.