BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge hosted a cross-section of youth at Wynberg on February 26 to discuss youth ministry in Brisbane.
Archdiocesan Commission for Ministry with Young People chair Michael Forbes invited key parish and movement leaders in Brisbane to nominate delegates to attend the unique discussion at the Archbishop’s residence.
More than 40 young people from parishes, communities, universities and schools across the archdiocese attended.
In preparation for the evening, Archbishop Coleridge asked attendees to read the Introduction and chapters 1, 2 and 5 of Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).
As the formal proceedings began, Archbishop Coleridge shared a number of key parts he found important in document.
He then opened discussions on what was required for effective youth ministry in Brisbane.
Archbishop Coleridge has highlighted numerous times that youth and young adults “are not just the leaders of the future, but are the leaders of the now”.
One youth representative who attended the discussion said youth were often all but ignored as being valuable assets in the present.
“As part of that, they tend to be left out of the decision-making process,” they said.
“The evening with the Archbishop was a positive step towards reconciling the rhetoric with the reality.
“I believe that there could be more communication between youth movements and schools.
“Linking the efforts of external groups/parishes and schools could be a really great step in moving youth ministry forward.”
Another community representative said the “dynamism of young people” meant they could “interpret and respond to the teachings of Pope Francis and really lead the rest of the Church on what it looks like on a day-to-day basis”.
“Sometimes we tend to believe that young adults and high-schoolers have no interest in faith, the Church or even God,” they said.
“Sure, many have road blocks, and points they dislike about Church teaching, and often don’t want to make lifestyle changes they perceive come with involvement in Church.
“Our true goal at this point in history is speaking in a language that meets young people exactly where they are at, as Pope Francis has taught many times.”
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