The purpose of Light the World! Summer Institute is to help youth to understand their baptismal call to be missionary disciples. We explore how the Catholic faith engages and impacts wider society through theological exploration and reflection, encountering lived models of faithful excellence, and communal prayer and reflection in the Catholic tradition. Light the World! is both an instrument of the Spirit for formation in faith, and a vehicle for the Church itself to be transformed by hearing the voices of its youth. 

You’ll notice that we use the term “the vocation of youth” here at Light the World!. We have had participants join religious communities or enter seminary in the past, and this is a part of what we mean, but not the whole. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis wrote:

The word “vocation” can be understood in a broad sense as a calling from God, including the call to life, the call to friendship with him, the call to holiness, and so forth. This is helpful, since it situates our whole life in relation to the God who loves us. It makes us realize that nothing is the result of pure chance but that everything in our lives can become a way of responding to the Lord, who has a wonderful plan for us. (248)

We want to help our participants to discern how God is calling them in the now, and for the future. How is God calling our participants as high schoolers, as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, as friends, as disciples of Christ? For some, this will mean discerning a call to religious life or priesthood, but for others it’s assisting them to discern a call to study law or biology, to pursue Theology and Religious Studies, or simply how they can grow closer to Jesus and his Church in the here and now.