Porta Fidei Canberra

On the 10th of May, teachers from around the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese gathered together to take time to connect with their faith. Porta Fidei means “door of faith”, and throughout the retreat, participants were encouraged to take a step towards their faith and to reconnect with God.

Steve Kirk blessed the retreat with his music ministry throughout the day, and led participants in prayer to begin the morning. The morning session focussed on God’s love, where Bernadette Meffert and Michael Monagle’s shared their personal experiences of God’s love.

Session two focussed on the Kerygma where Fr. Chris Eaton spoke about the Salvation message, and session three centred around the renewal of faith. Fr. Tony Percy spoke about the importance and significance of reconciliation and Sarah Pearson shared her personal experience of reconciliation. Participants were then given the chance to respond by participating in adoration and reconciliation.

The day finished with sharings from Peter Woods and Kate McManus Green on teaching being a vocation – refreshing the participants’ beliefs in the importance and value of teachers in Catholic Schools.

We cannot wait for the next Porta Fidei!

Leading the NE

Graduate Certificate in Education: Leading the New Evangelisation Unit Two
“Creating Centres of the New Evangelisation”

The second unit of the Graduate Certificate in Education: Leading the New Evangelisation run through the Australian Catholic University was held at St. Christopher’s Pastoral Centre in Canberra across the 14th and 15th of April.

This unit focussed on examining and critiquing the current approaches to creating schools as centres of the New Evangelisation. Students engaged in practical workshops and seminars around planning and leading staff and student faith formation experiences and explored current models of Youth Ministry (the CSYMA four phase model), as well as engaged in critical thought and discussion around these current approaches. Br. David Hall, Dean of the ACU La Salle Academy also gave a guest lecture on Creating Centres of the New Evangelisation.

It was wonderful to see so many people gathered together, committed to bringing creative ideas and new ways of thinking to their communities, in order to enact the vision of creating Catholic schools as centres of the New Evangelisation.

Some of the participant feedback included:

The unit was particularly informative and practical. The balance of lecture input, discussion and workshop presentations was perfect. I am excited about the future of Catholic schools.

These are great units for those involved as RE teachers and leaders in school settings. They are fundamental for any teacher engaging in the Church and with young people.

The LNE is incredibly important to recognize and embrace the importance of youth in the survival of the Church. The LNE focused on this.

New participants can join the Graduate Certificate in Education: Leading the New Evangelisation in Unit One Faith Formation in the New Evangelisation in August when it runs again from the 17th – 19th in Canberra.




Lismore LEAD

Fall on Rich Soil

 The power of the Diocese of Lismore, Catholic Schools Office LEAD Conference is in the witness of faithful Youth Ministers speaking truth into the lives of curious but doubtful, generous but busy, energetic but limited senior High School Students. More than ever, the LEAD Conference demonstrated the need for young people to come together and share an encounter with God.

In the words of the participants, something I learnt about my faith…

 “To never give up and drive away from God through tough times. Keep him in your soul and mind forever and always ask him for advice. He will always listen and help. He doesn’t favour one person over another.”

“I learnt that I need to make use of the people in my life who are there to support me in my faith.”

“That being in the presence of God is enough and how much I love praise and worship sessions.”

This year we broke open the theme ‘Fall on Rich Soil’ from the Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:8. The theme had a life of it’s own. It encouraged the young people to find the rich soil of a Parish, discipleship community or a Youth Ministry Team, and to allow themselves to grow steadily in faith. The Proclaim Band guided the Conference in energetic and prayerful rallies, the YMOs taught from their genuine experiences in the Keynotes and Workshops and the student testimony was a highlight for many.

We’re all excited to see the fruit of the event in the Spirit-filled action of the seniors in their respective schools.

Yours faithfully,

Lismore Catholic Schools Office

Bathurst Youth Forum!

On the 4th of February the Bathurst Diocese conducted a Year of Youth Forum. Students, priests, deacons, seminarians and teachers from all across the Diocese joined together for the day to share their ideas and thoughts on their hopes for the Church.

One of the main events of the day was a question and answer panel. Students and teachers wrote in questions before the event and questions were also received on the day. Interesting discussion on a range of topics was facilitated by Huw Warmenhoven and lead by the members on the panel; Bishop McKenna, Vicar General Rev. Paul Devitt, Chloe Kelly from CSYMA and Tom Fiander a local YMI Youth Minister.

After the panel, all the participants gathered in small groups to discuss their passions, their mission statements and what their hopes were for the Church. The groups gathered together and shared their thoughts – which create the basis for a Diocesan youth vision and plan for Bathurst.

Of course – the day was also filled with praise and worship, good food and great friends! Congratulations to the Bathurst Diocese on a brilliant Year of Youth event!

24 Hours of Adoration in CG

As a response to the Australian Catholic Bishop’s call for a ‘Year of Youth,’ one of the events to begin 2018 was with 24 Hours of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Christopher’s Cathedral. In attendance across the 24 hours were youth group leaders, young people, Catholic Education employees, parishioners. The 24 Hours were led by Archbishop Christopher Prowse and the Vicar General Fr. Tony Percy.

When asked, ‘why are you spending these hours in prayer’, one young man said ‘it brings God’s grace and presence to the young people, who need Him so much’.

The Archdiocese is encouraging all Parish, school and ecclesial communities to continue to pray for the Year of Youth.

Canberra-Goulburn LEAD

The CSYMA LEAD conference was held on Monday the 5th of March 2018. Over 350 senior students involved in leading Youth Ministry initiatives within our Catholic secondary schools gathered to be equipped in ministry and formed in faith in this Year of Youth.

The LEAD Conference attracts students who participate in their school’s Youth Ministry Team to receive training and formation to prepare them for ministry in their school. The conference finished with a blessing from Youth Chaplain, Father Paul Nully, and by inviting the newly trained youth ministers to receive a blessing from one of the 50 Post-School Youth Ministers from across Australia who planned and ran the event.

CG Youth Mass and Rally

The Canberra-Goulburn LEAD Youth Mass and Rally occurred on the 4th of March 2018 at St. Christopher’s Cathedral in Canberra. The Cathedral was standing room only as over 350 young people across the Archdioceses of Canberra Goulburn, Bathurst and Broken Bay Diocese gathered with members of the community.

The event was led by Youth Ministers, post-school young people on a year of mission, who attended the YMI Equipping School the week before. These Youth Ministers lead praise and worship sessions, gave key talks and shared their personal testimonies with the young people in attendance.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse was the main celebrant at the Youth Mass, along with eight concelebrants including Archdiocesan Youth Chaplains.

Can’t wait for the next big youth event!

2018 YMI Equipping School

The Youth Ministers International (YMI) Equipping School 2018 was focused around Jesus’ commission to the Gospel’s to “Go and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:19. This call was was answered by Youth Ministers, students, teachers and leaders from across the Oceania region including; Canberra-Goulburn, Lismore, Sydney, Bathurst, Broken Bay, Melbourne  and Darwin Dioceses. In addition to representatives from New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and The Solomon Islands.

Approximately 110 leaders, Youth Ministers, teachers and students participated in the YMI Equipping School in Canberra this year.

The 2018 YMI Equipping School was run by Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia (CSYMA), in partnership with the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, the Australian Catholic University and Catholic Super. The relationship with these partners opens pathways for those attending the school and also supports them with their faith formation going forward from the Equipping School.

The Equipping School formed each participant for the mission of the Catholic Church. Participants were encouraged to engage with Christ and the Holy Spirit, in order to deepen their personal faith. The Equipping School’s sessions then focused on presenting opportunities for spreading this personal faith and the Gospel through ministry positions, including placements in schools and parishes and on cross-cultural missions.

There is already increidble momentum felt across the CSYMA network and beyond resulting from the Equipping School. It will be incredible to see these leaders return to their communities, leading in the life and mission of the Church as we begin the Year of Youth. 

“The Equipping School taught and inspired us to evangelise and to renew the life of young people in the Solomon Islands to go out and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Amos and Florence, Youth Ministers of the Solomon Islands. 

“CSYMA is the way to go to capture and retain Catholic youths throughout the Oceania region and the world so as to be firmly grounded in the faith.”
Nemani Drova. Director Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Suva, Fiji. 

“CSYMA is really inspirational and will show to our young Catholic youths how to implement the faith of the Catholic Church.”
Christopher Philip, Mt Hagen Youth Leader PNG.

YMI Equipping School

The YMI Equipping School is an intensive formation school that inspires and resources youth, young adults and ministry leaders for the mission of the Catholic Church.

Following the YMI Equipping School, participants will be given the opportunity to form cross-cultural mission teams.

In addition to the YMI School, Youth Ministers may participate in the YMI network. This includes the completion of an ACU accrediation program called Signum Fidei.

Register for the Equipping School today.

Launch of Youth Academy

The ACU and CSYMA Youth Academy is launching in 2018! The Youth Academy is a 4 module program for senior secondary school students that aims to train and form Youth Ministry teams and connect students to the broader Church. The Youth Academy provides a formal accreditation to youth ministry students.

Students who complete the Youth Academy receive an ACU and CSYMA Faith and Ministry Award and 5 bonus ATAR points towards a degree at the ACU.

If you want to implement the Youth Academy in your school, contact