On the 4th December 2019, Kay Hand represented the Parish in a meeting in Johnstown Parish which explored Pope Francis’ recent letter to young people .
30 delegates involved in youth ministry read excerpts from “Christus Vivit” and, inspired by them, shared experiences and initiatives in this ministry.
Questions that were posed:
How are we present to the young people of our Parish?
How do we involve young people in the Christian community?
How do we find the middle ground of encounter with younger people?
How can younger people be themselves and be themselves with Christ?
How can we preserve the Christian aspect of this ministry (prayer, bible etc.) without having just a “youth Club”/”Cool club”?
Many practical ideas were shared between the participants. The need to create a space for open conversation was highlighted as was the benefit of always providing food and hot drinks. The necessity to offer practical projects for young people (visiting elderly people, helping in some social or ecological project etc.) was also discussed.
Ideas were shared from Net Ministries and from Youth2000 who also offered to visit the Parish and help to begin youth initiatives.
This is one of the paragraphs from the Pope’s document.
Maybe you could read and reflect on it. How beautifully gentle it is! How realistic but encouraging!
67. Anyone called to be a parent, pastor or guide to young people must have the farsightedness to appreciate the little flame that continues to burn, the fragile reed that is shaken but not broken (cf. Is 42:3). The ability to discern pathways where others only see walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril. That is how God the Father see things; he knows how to cherish and nurture the seeds of goodness sown in the hearts of the young. Each young person’s heart should thus be considered “holy ground”, a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must “take off our shoes” in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the Mystery.