Partnerships provide us with a new opportunity for youth ministry. As we share our resources, our gifts, our challenges, our hopes and our wealth of experience, there is the possibility of a greater response both to older and new initiatives than when parishes worked alone.
Youth ministry takes many forms and follows many pathways. We hope that this Toolkit will assist Partnerships to respond to the needs of young people and to encourage them to take their place in the Church and share their unique gifts with the wider community. The aim of the Toolkit is to provide ideas and inspiration as well as practical help and information.
As we build up the Toolkit, we will add resources. Each section will contain a host of information and things to think about. Follow through in any order. This Toolkit is a guide not a set of rules; a set of pointers that may help along the way.
Whilst the toolkit is provided for your help and support in working with young people in our diocese, it does not claim to be all encompassing. All of us share the responsibility for developing an informed and appropriate ministry with young people.
A Word from Fr Dermott Donnelly, Director of Youth Services
Forward Together in Hope has called our Diocese to look again at what it means to be missionary disciples and to build communities which reach out to others with the joy of the Gospel. The report of the young people’s survey ‘The Way We See It’ calls us, as part of this endeavour, to listen to our young people with generosity and to give them the space to share their thoughts and their many gifts with us.
The report reflects much to celebrate and to build upon; it also raises many challenges to which we need to respond. The individual parish questionnaires all spoke about a deep concern for young people and challenged us to search for a response that is courageous and imaginative.
This echoes the call of the wider Church to examine our relationship with young people. In the lead up to the 2018 Synod, Pope Francis said, ‘The Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognise and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today.’ The Pope went on to say, ‘By listening to young people, the Church will once again be able to hear the Lord speaking in today’s world’.
Everyone has a role in responding to the call which comes to us from both ‘The Way We See It’ and from the words of Pope Francis. All of us are called to accompany young people on their journey. This means to foster, to call, to enable, and to send so that young people become beacons of hope in the world. Partnerships provide us with a great opportunity to encourage our communities to take up this challenging but rewarding role.