Valuing our Youth
“Young people call us to renewed and expansive hope, for they represent new directions for humanity and open us up to the future, lest we cling to nostalgia for structures and customs which are no longer life-giving in today’s world” – Pope Francis, Evangelii Guadium 108
Catholic Youth Parramatta is your key resource for this vital ministry area. Other good resources are:
Role Description for Parish Youth Ministers Youth ministers play a vital role in assisting parishes to meet the spiritual, catechetical and social needs of youth and young adults. Ideally, parish youth ministers and leaders will be disciples who exercise initiative and good judgement, can prioritise and develop the faith and leadership of others, are in touch with contemporary youth culture and social media, and witness to faith with a sound knowledge of and commitment to the Gospel. Contact the Youth Office on (02) 8838 3428 or www.parra.catholic.org.au/youth for advice.
Three One is a program for Catholic youth groups produced by CatholicYouthWork.com. It includes information on how to structure a youth program, complete program details including access to videos, discussion guides and activities.
Multiple-Parish Ministry Resource is a booklet produced by Doug Tooke from the Diocese of Helena, Montana, USA. It expands on eight elements of successful multi-parish youth ministry including 1. Shared vision; 2. Empowering leadership; 3. Inclusive structures; 4. Administrative issues; 5. Shared prayer and worship; 6. Dynamic events; 7. Change management; and 8. Effective communication. Also produced by the Diocese of Helena is this role description for a Multiple-Parish Youth Minister.
Church of the Nativity Youth Ministry Resources This webpage by Christopher Wesley from the Church of the Nativity, Baltimore, provides practical ideas for establishing sustainable ministries to youth groups including ideas for working with varying age clusters. Also recommended is Christopher Wesley’s blog “Marathon Youth Ministry“.
Youth Group Games for Different Ages. This website offers ideas for games with upper primary, lower secondary, and senior secondary students as well as inclusive games for students with special needs.
Guidelines and Resources for Youth Retreats has been prepared by Lisa Bright, Sacramental Coordinator at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. This guide offers a checklist of ideas for liturgies with a focus on youth and young adults.
Praised Be Jesus Christ! Guidelines for Catholic Youth Retreats is from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, USA, and is an aid to the planning of retreats for youth and to develop retreats that promote the spiritual, psychological, physical and emotional well-being of participants.
Youth & Liturgy
This Liturgy Survey for parishioners produced by St Vincent De Paul Parish, Saint Louis, USA, is an example of how a survey could be used as a guide for parishes to assess the needs of those attending liturgy, including youth, in your parish community.
Guidelines and Resources for Masses with Focus on Youth has been prepared by Lisa Bright, Sacramental Coordinator at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. This guide offers a checklist of ideas for liturgies with a focus on youth and young adults.
Ministering at Mass a Guide for Young People is produced by the Office for Youth in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. This resource is designed to help young people involved in liturgical ministry and organisation. It includes a summary of what is involved in the different ministries of the Mass, a checklist for organising large Masses, a liturgical planning sheet, and a guide to help with cues for each part of the Mass.
Organising Large Events: A Practical Checklist is produced by CatholicYouthWork. This guide focuses on the coordination of larger events.
Recommended Hymns and Songs Approved by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is a list of suitable music for parishes to use in liturgy.
We Adore is a youth ministry resource focused on the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, produced by Outside Da Box.
World Youth Day
WYD Parramatta Website contains all you need to know for World Youth Day. This is a pilgrimage to another country for a week-long festival of faith with millions of youth from around the world joining the Pope for an encounter with Jesus.
Pilgrim Fundraising Pack produced by the Office for Youth in the Archdiocese of Melbourne is a practical guide to fundraising for the purposes of World Youth Day (originally 2013). It includes an example of a 12-month fundraising plan, a script for fundraising appeals and talks at Mass, and an example of a run sheet for a trivia night which may also be helpful for raising funds.
World Youth Day Internship is a program produced by the Diocese of Broken Bay for World Youth Day (originally 2011). This program leads youth and their parishes through the invitation, preparation, formation activities and assistance for parish priests to enable youth and the community to fully participate in World Youth Day. It included application forms for a parish internship, a code of conduct agreement, requirements for WYD interns, a suggested formation program, and an internship log book to be signed weekly by the nominated parish-based supervisor. These resources could be adapted for use by parishes for young leaders.
A World Youth Day Local Celebrations Kit has been produced by the Office for Youth in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and offers a range of activities suitable for ‘stay at home pilgrims’, including suggestions for holding a local pilgrimage, a vigil sleep out and organising a ‘mission week’ focused on service to the local community. While the kit was written for WYD2013, the commissioning prayers and other ideas can be easily adjusted to suit your next local WYD event.
Living the Beatitudes, produced by Auckland Catholic Youth, is a reflection for teens on the Beatitudes which includes prayer ideas, ice-breakers, reflection and activities focused on these teachings of Christ. While written in 2012, the vast majority of the material can be usefully engaged by parishes today.
A Guide for Preparing a Testimony from the National Office for Evangelisation. Testimonies are an excellent way for ‘returnees’ to engage with their parish communities. These testimonies can be shared before or after Mass or else printed in parish bulletins.