By Chiara Catanzariti
In this official ‘Year of Youth’, there have been tremendous strides of youth ministry in our Canberra, Goulburn Archdiocese. Connections have strengthened not only between our local schools and parishes, but for our Archdiocese as a whole. From the Coastal and Western Deaneries, to central Canberra and Goulburn, we have seen these students connect with one another in knowing they are completely supported and freed to explore, question, and grow deeper in their faith.
I have felt so supported and empowered in this year of being a youth minister, especially in seeing the advanced reception of CSYMA in our schools and parishes. The sense of God’s goodness and presence in this is evident when returning to schools to run ‘catch the wave’ retreats. A connection our team makes in one day then fostered through the teachers, school youth ministers, classes, parishes and rallies. I have continuously been moved in seeing the greatness of growth in our Secondary School’s faith culture and even amongst individual students. I know this has greatly encouraged many people to see our youth being active in their faith. When talking with them, you can easily tell how they are set apart in their realisation of self, the radiant joy and love they carry in all that they do. Without knowing it, through their own journey of faith they are changing culture by authentically living their lives in a way that radiates the love, hope and truth of Christ. From here students can’t help to share this with their peers and I have witnessed this translated from the classroom to their local parish communities.
I have continued to grow in my faith, with so many opportunities. I am so grateful for all the prayers and support from the Archdiocese. From our Chaplin’s, parishioners, teachers, students and other national youth ministry leaders we have felt so cared for and invested in. I believe there has been such a resounding yes to this as we know in the world today our young people are being continuously told many different ‘truths’ However, we are called in our outreach to share the eternal truth that they are in fact made out of love for love, that God has a undeniable purpose and plan for their lives and that God is there always waiting for us to return to Him and go forth living in the goodness, strength and mercy we receive through what He has done for us.
Thank you to all those who have been part of our 2018 ministry and I implore you to please continue in your prayers and participation of this exciting and much needed outreach to our young people in our Archdiocese and beyond.