National Youth Advisory Council Granted an Audience with the Holy Father

WASHINGTON D.C., September 28, 2022 – The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) announces that the National Youth Advisory Council has been granted a meeting with the Holy Father on October 12, 2022, at the conclusion of the general audience in Rome to receive directly from him the papal message for young people in the United States. These young people will formally share our Holy Father’s message at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in November in Long Beach, CA. 

“I’m overjoyed to join a delegation from NFCYM to meet with the Holy Father. These young men and women are on fire with love for the Lord and have the zealous heart of a Missionary Disciple.  I am deeply grateful to Pope Francis for welcoming this group and allowing them to share their unique voices and gifts with him” said Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia, Episcopal Advisor for NFCYM. 

In 2019, in the Holy Father’s address to the young people at NCYC, he prayed that the event would “kindle [their] missionary hearts” and imbue them with strength and courage to witness to the Gospel. The National Youth Advisory Council is the fruit of the Holy Father’s prayer and is NFCYM’s method of modeling a vision of shared leadership and peer-to-peer initiatives that empowers young people to be missionary disciples and protagonists in the Church. 

The National Youth Advisory Council was launched in the summer of 2022. This council is a diverse group of young people who speak on behalf of the youth of the United States to ensure that the voices of young people are integrated into the mission and work of NFCYM. The members represent various parts of the country (i.e., California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington) and cultures (i.e., African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Native American).   

The council will work collaboratively with their local and diocesan communities, and with all members of NYAC to ensure our Holy Father’s message reaches the young church. Their efforts will include digital campaigns, blogs, video projects, and witness reflections. 

I look forward to sharing my experiences with not only my peers and parish but also at NCYC this November. I hope the stories I share will open people’s hearts, minds, and souls to the many possible things Christ can do for everyone, said Julia Zerbes, Youth Council representative. 


For more information, visit For media inquiries, please contact Natalie Ibarra, Communications Manager for NFCYM at [email protected]. 

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Yazmín Maní Malone

Pastoral Juvenil Hispana Coordinator,
Diocese of Austin

Diocesan Member

"NFCYM has accompanied me in reaching out to like minded professionals to better provide service (ministry) to adolescents. NFCYM has allowed me to network and grow professionally.

'Youth as Protagonists' has been essential to Pastoral Juvenil Hispana in the Diocese of Austin."

Eva P. Delgado

Youth Minister, St. Christopher Church

Associate Member

"The various resources have helped me keep our program exciting and vibrant. NFCYM has provided me with shared information via webinars, workshops, conferences, outreach, and opportunities that are very informative to help make my ministry successful.

NFCYM is an open forum for me to seek material, guidance and support in keeping the youth ministry program successful."