Youth Ministry Profile – Tayla Ayshford
My name is Tayla Ayshford and this year I have the privilege of being a Youth Minister at St John Paul College in Coffs Harbour and the St Augustine’s Parish. I wanted to take this year off before going to university to explore my own faith and share it with those around me.
When I was in Year 10, I joined my schools CSYMA class. This is where my faith journey started, despite being in Catholic schooling for eight years, I learned some incredible lessons about deepening my faith and what it was like to express my spirituality. I had amazing experiences at Shine that solidified that urge to really continue to grow in my faith. Throughout my senior years, I went along to many different faith-based retreats and events with my peers, teachers, and Youth Ministers. The Youth Ministers from previous years when I was still a student really helped me have the courage to express my faith and they gave me so many opportunities to learn different aspects of what being a minister is really about. From what they showed me, I wanted to give others the opportunity that they gave to me and share everything I have learned so far, since having graduated last year, about expressing my own faith when I was in their position.
This year I have been able to participate in ministry events and retreats. It has been so incredible to see all those who are growing and experiencing faith through these events, and also bring that faith aspect into their daily lives, and learning to minister to their own peers. Along with this, me, my fellow Youth Ministers, and ministry staff were able to host the first whole school Mass at school in years. It was difficult but so rewarding to see all the students and staff celebrating the Eucharist together on the first school day of the year. I am so inspired by the students’ participation in lunch groups, early morning events, and ministry teams. I am so privileged to be able to help them in developing their faith and learning more about their spirituality and ministering.
I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity of Ministering to the Youth of not only the school I was a student at but also students all over the Lismore diocese. I am beyond excited to see what the rest of this year holds.