By Zach Eckert     9/12/2017

JSerra Catholic High School alumna Suness Jones (’12) was invited to the Vatican by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to take part in a preparatory meeting for the 2018 Synod on Young People. She was the only young adult selected to represent the United States, and joined with youth from over 150 countries.

Jones was given the opportunity to speak to a committee of cardinals, bishops, and global delegates on the state of American youth and their desire to be heard by the Church. Jones said, “I wanted the committee to know that young people desire a place in the Church, are searching for real love, and need to hear from the Church that they have a place.”

Jones is currently a missionary for the Catholic youth ministry organization National Evangelization Teams, which sends out teams of 12 young adults to parishes and Catholic schools across the country and abroad. Despite her busy travel schedule with NET, she was still able to participate in Rome, and in particular, was selected because she had previously interned with the USCCB at the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Specifically, she worked on creating social media for the World Youth Day event in Krakow, Poland.

Interestingly, Suness is a convert and became Catholic as a senior in high school. She said, “I wasn’t raised Catholic, but JSerra represented the Church so authentically, and I encountered teachers, administrators, and friends that welcomed me with open arms.”

When asked about what she wants people to know about the upcoming Synod on Young People, Suness said that the Vatican is creating a survey for young adults, ages 16-29. The Vatican is hoping that youth from all over the world, from any religious background, will take part in this survey — giving feedback to the church on who they are and what they want the church to know.