Tapped to lead a new effort in archdiocesan outreach to Catholic young adults, this church administrator connects with a new generation of faith seekers

Headshot of Matt Davis MS '23

Selected as the new head of archdiocesan outreach to Catholic young adults in November 2020, Matt Davis ’21 MS is excited for the opportunity to play a vital role in the future of the 1.2 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In less than a year, he’s already connected with the leaders of more than 50 young adult ministries in the archdiocese, exploring ways to establish dialogue and connection between the groups and the archdiocese and to understand their needs. 

Having graduated from the Villanova School of Business with an MS in Church Management in May 2021, Matt shares some insight into the why, the how and the possibilities of this new position.

Q: Why is it important to engage young people in the Catholic Church?

A: Without young people more engaged and involved, our Church will find itself in a very difficult situation in the near future. A young Church that is engaged, that is listened to, and that is invited to share their gifts and talents can bring a tremendous depth and variety of gifts, enthusiasm and joy to our faith. 

Q: How will your past experience as director of Pastoral Care of Refugees and Migrants for the Archdiocese help you minister to a different population needing support in the Church?

A: Many of the principles I found most helpful in working with immigrants also work well with young adults: planning with instead of planning for, including others by making sure they have a seat at the table, listening, and asking for and valuing input.

Q: What do you love most about working with young people in the Church? 

A: I love all of the possibilities for doing good for God and the Church that come with this role. For me, young adults are the most exciting group to work with in the Church. They are old enough to ask all the big questions of God, our faith and themselves, and young enough to be open to where the Spirit leads in exploring these questions and to make major life and vocational decisions based on that prompting.