The first year CSYMA Youth Ministers conducted their first round of online Tutorials at the beginning of April as a continuation of their ongoing formation in the Youth Ministers International (YMI) Program. The YMI Program began with the CSYMA Equipping School held in Lismore and Canberra in February. Completion of the Equipping School plus online tutorials and assessment contributes to receiving the ACU Signum Fidei program, a work of the ACU La Salle Academy. There are currently 66 Youth Ministers within the YMI network, and 34 of those are first-year Australian Youth ministers, who have all completed the Tutorial aspect of module one. An additional five returning youth ministers will also be continuing their study in the YMI Program. The process of incorporating internationals into the program has begun as we hosted our first New Zealander as well as a group from Tonga (to come later next month), giving us a total of 41 first-year youth ministers in the network and 25 youth ministers who have returned for consecutive years.
The Module one Tutorial on the Life of the Church, with a focus on personal prayer, went exceptionally well. All incoming youth ministers attended from the dioceses of Lismore, Canberra/Goulburn, Sandhurst, Bathurst, Melbourne, and Darwin.
In our tutorial discussion, the youth ministers shared compelling experiences they encountered at the Equipping school, explaining how encouraged they were in their faith and the new skills they had learned to take back into their ministries at home.
“It was a time of healing. I took to song writing to express the experiences I was having” – Hannah (Lismore)
“I experienced a connection with the Holy Spirit, and I learned how to give a professional testimony.” – Matthew (Bathurst)
“I was inspired by hearing more about the lives of the saints. I also encountered a deeper richness to the Sacraments, which manifested vividly for me in the Mass.”– Elena (Canberra)
“My God experiences began before I even arrived. My boyfriend sent me a song to listen to on the plane, which also happened to be the theme song of the Equipping school. I was also encouraged by the broader church community and felt confident returning to the ministry back home.” – Joy (Darwin)
“I feel more confident now and capable. I particularly took a lot from Brian’s talk on preaching in the Holy Spirit.”– Daniel (Sandhurst)
We continue to launch the youth ministers forward in their formation, providing multiple avenues for them to keep experiencing the fullness of the Catholic faith and its traditions, particularly in these unprecedented times. They will incorporate these experiences into their Signum Fidei journals, including the completion of the CALLED series, created by the Catholic Leaders Formation Network.