JAYE Barros has been appointed youth co-ordinator for Brisbane South Deanery.
The new role was instigated in response to the outcomes of last year’s Brisbane archdiocesan synod to improve participation of children and young people in the Church and faith.
Jaye was employed by Brisbane South Deanery last month to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of youth ministries in each parish.
She was previously the youth co-ordinator at St Bernard’s Parish, Upper Mt Gravatt and Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish, Coorparoo.
In her new job, she will visit each parish to gather information and to prioritise each parish’s needs on an individual as well as deanery basis.
‘This may include training and motivating existing leaders, introducing new ideas, helping to initiate new programs and referring them to other organisations and support networks that can assist,’ Jaye said.
She said her goal was to enliven and empower young people from birth upwards to, not only to respect and understand the rich tradition of the Catholic faith, but to understand and embrace the ‘fun’ side of Church.
‘Church is fun,’ she said.
‘Church life provides support and values like nothing else.
‘Kids these days often respond with ‘Church is boring’ or ‘irrelevant’ or ‘old fashioned’, but they are not witnessing enough of the other side of Church life, like youth rallies, concerts, socials and sports, that balance our ritual celebrations.’
Jaye said the Church needed to embrace young people and lift them up to maintain strong leadership in the future by understanding and respecting their vision.
‘How often do we hear parents and grandparents saying ‘You don’t see the young people in church any more?” she said.
‘This may be true in some parishes, but young people today certainly have a strong sense of spirituality. It is just expressed in different ways to previous generations.
‘It is this expression of faith that we need to tap into to ensure that they continue it on into the future.
‘This is the side of my job that I love and I am energised and challenged by.’
She said events would be organised for young people including a deanery gathering day on November 27 from 9am-noon at St Bernard’s Parish, Upper Mt Gravatt, for people involved or interested in children and youth ministries.
‘It will be an informal gathering to help with networking, sharing ideas, learning some new ones and having the opportunity to get to know others in similar ministries.
‘Brisbane Catholic Education and Parish Youth Ministry Services (PYMS) have been invited to share their wisdom to help inspire and support those present.
‘It is hoped this gathering day can be held two to three times a year as a networking and training event.’
Jaye said events would also be organised at deanery level for youth and families, tapping into existing events such as Sonfest, a Christian music festival at Boonah; and Movers and Shakers; as well as deanery family Masses, retreat days and holiday camps.
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