Working across countries we often hear a lot of comments like “there are no young people anymore in our church”. Our Laudato Si Animators, Circle leads and other grassroots in the movement see it, and would like to respond to it. Especially now, in the year of the World Youth Days and the main memorable message from Pope Francis: “Jesus says this clearly when he sends the apostles to call us to the banquet of the Lord, who prepared it. He says: go and take everyone: young and old, healthy and sick, righteous and sinners. All of them. There. Everyone. In the Church, there is room for everyone. Father, but today I am a wretch. Is there room for me? There is room for everyone. Everyone together, each one in his own language… each one in his own language. Repeat after me: everyone! Everyone! Everyone!

Laudato Si Movement tries to embody it, by organizing a space for those who feel not heard, but themselves they hear the calling to bring Laudato Si to life. Our first attempt to listen to the voices of the youth, especially in Europe, will be by organizing the Laudato Si Animators course for young Europeans. We are preparing a special version of it, where we would like to invite young people to co-create it.

Bringing young people back to the church using Pope Francis’s encyclicals like “Laudato Si”, “Fratelli Tutti,” and the newest document, “Laudate Deum”, requires a thoughtful and inclusive approach. As we start on the 8th of November, we have already come to some conclusions and learnings about young people that we would like to share. 

1. Co-create eco-friendly initiatives with young people or at least create spaces for them in your community/parish.

“Laudato Si” emphasizes the importance of caring for our common home, the environment. Young people are often really passionate about environmental issues, but they do not see any space to express their thoughts and calling. Organizing eco-friendly initiatives within the church, such as community gardens, recycling programs, or energy-saving practices as a start can bring young people to your place. These basic actions can align with Pope Francis’s teachings and resonate with the younger generation’s values. Try to invite any existing youth initiative nearby to show them, that their calling to care for God’s creation can be safely performed with you.

During the Laudato Si Animators course for young Europeans, young people will have a chance to design and run their own small community project and during the course, they can count on continuous support provided by course organizers. Sign up for the course here:

2. Promote social justice and inclusivity, and include young people in the joint planning of community programs.

Young people participating in climate education activity in front of the St. Antonio of Lisbon church (painting the climate stripes for the city of Lisbon), World Youth Days, Lisbon 2023.

“Laudato Si” and “Fratelli Tutti” stress the importance of social justice and solidarity. Encourage discussions and activities that address issues like poverty, migration, and discrimination. Young people are drawn to inclusive communities that actively work towards justice and equality. Create opportunities for them to get involved in volunteer work or outreach programs that reflect these values.

During the Laudato Si Animators course, young people will have a chance to get to know “Laudato Si’”, “Fratelli Tutti” and “Laudate Deum” teachings during live webinars and they will learn how to spread the word about it.

3. Embrace Technology and Social Media.

Young people are digital natives. Use social media platforms and other digital tools to reach out to them. Share Pope Francis’s messages, church events, and initiatives online. Create engaging and informative content that highlights the encyclicals’ teachings and their relevance to contemporary issues. Try to connect the church teachings with down-to-earth initiatives.

You can share the content that we post on social media too, from Facebook and from Instagram. Promote the course together with us!

4. Ask questions, foster dialogue and openness.


Pope Francis encourages open dialogue and listening. Create safe spaces within the church for young people to express their views and questions. Encourage them to share their perspectives on issues discussed in the encyclicals. Hosting discussion groups, workshops, or forums can help young people feel heard and valued. And then, the next step will be inviting them to co-create such events together. 

5. Connect Faith with Daily Life.

Help young people understand how the teachings of “Laudato Si” and “Laudate Deum” are applicable to their daily lives. Provide practical guidance on how they can integrate these teachings into their work, relationships, and personal choices. Show them that their faith has a meaningful impact on the world around them.

Ultimately, the key to attracting young people to the church is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that resonates with their values and concerns. By embracing Pope Francis’s teachings on environmental stewardship, social justice, and solidarity and integrating them into church activities, you can make the church more appealing and relevant to younger generations.

Another thing to consider: integrate environmental themes and practices into worship services! Use eco-friendly materials, discuss relevant Bible passages, and highlight Pope Francis’s “Laudato Si” encyclical and the newest “Laudate Deum”. Emphasize the sacredness of nature and the church’s commitment to stewardship. Simply, show that you truly try to bring Laudato Si to life!