Catholic Extension Organizes First Young Adult Leadership Summit

Chicago – August 10, 2011 – Catholic Extension today announced the completion of its first Leadership Summit for young adult Catholics. From July 20 – 22, Catholic Extension hosted young adult leaders from dioceses around the country, with three goals in mind:

  • Identify opportunities to engage young adult Catholics throughout the country;
  • Strengthen and encourage these leaders as they continue their ministries in their local dioceses;
  • Identify areas where Catholic Extension can support their efforts as they work to build faith in their dioceses.

Catholic Extension provides grants to dioceses throughout the United States to empower Catholic communities by funding a variety of building projects and ministries and investing in lay, religious and ordained Catholic leaders. Last year it supported youth ministries with more than $2 million in grants exclusively in underserved or under-resourced dioceses.

Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, said, “In the past year, we have visited over 40 of the 86 dioceses that receive our support. Everywhere we go, we are inspired by the young leaders we encounter who are the bright light of the future of the Church in their diocese. Many of these young people lack financial resources for their ministries; however, their genuine faith and conviction are moving them to do great things. We thought it would be very powerful to bring these young leaders together, to learn what inspires and motivates them and to see how Catholic Extension can support them in their efforts. It has been a privilege to spend this time with these dynamic, future leaders of our Church.”

Participants of the Leadership Summit came from more than 20 dioceses, including California, Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, The US Virgin Islands, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kentucky, Arizona, Puerto Rico and Virginia. They were invited because of their proven extraordinary commitment to their diocese and communities through leadership and ministry service.

During the Summit, the leaders engaged in discussions and strategic brainstorming on topics including:

  • Where can young adults make a difference in the Church?
  • What are the challenges for young Catholics?
  • Why don’t some young people practice their faith?
  • What does the Church do well?
  • What does the Church need to do better?

“Catholic Extension is committed to building a network of young Catholic leaders,” Fr. Wall continued. “We were blessed to have this opportunity to come together to share ideas that will ultimately strengthen the Church’s outreach to young adults.”

About Catholic Extension

Since 1905, Chicago-based Catholic Extension has been empowering Catholic communities by providing them funds to establish themselves; become self-sustaining; provide religious education and outreach ministries; build and renovate church buildings; and train the next generation of lay, religious and ordained Catholic leaders. Catholic Extension has distributed nearly $500 million to communities across America throughout its history. For more information, visit