NATIONAL Evangelisation Teams Ministries, known as NET ministries, commissioned 48 young people to go out and spread the Good News to the people of Australia and, for the first time, South Africa.
Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy commissioned the NET missionaries at a Commissioning Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Paddington on Saturday, February 23.
NET Ministries executive director Mark Doyle said it was a great event for generous and selfless young people to be sent off properly.
“For most of them, they have this really deep sense they’ve been given this gift that is their faith because someone took the time to reach out to them,” Mr Doyle said.
“Most of them want to give something back, they want to make a contribution.”
The 48 young people have been put into 8 teams and these teams undertake one of three roles for a 10-month period.
The first role is moving school-to-school exposing the students to an encounter with Jesus Christ; the second role is staying in one school or parish for 10 months as a permanent team; the third role is operating on a university campus – this year at University of Queensland and ACU Sydney Campus.
A special team of six was commissioned this year too to head to South Africa, to the Archdiocese of Cape Town.
“(The archdiocese) basically heard about what we were doing in Australia and were really keen to find a way to reach out to young people in their archdiocese,” Mr Doyle said.
But NET wasn’t about running formal seminars.
“We’re not so much huge on programs as we are on relationships, (the missionaries) want to build relationships with people,” Mr Doyle said.
Mr Doyle said it was mostly about leading young people to “know a relationship with Jesus Christ”.
The missionary year often changes the missionaries as much as those they’re encountering.
“We have so many people who say it’s a real year of growth and transformation for them,” Mr Doyle said.
“Growth in their own faith, their self-confidence and their self-belief, and in the power of God.”
As for the parents seeing their children leave for 10 months on Mission, Mr Doyle said there was some trepidation but it was also a real sense of pride.
“(The missionaries) are doing something they really find purposeful and meaningful and I think every parent can connect with that,” Mr Doyle said.