The Diocesan Youth Co-ordinator works closely with schools, parishes and youth groups to support, plan and implement new initiatives and faith development opportunities for young people from the four deanery areas of our diocese. Young people are regularly invited to engage in faith based initiatives and activities.
The recent formation of a 'Youth Committee' with representatives from various parts of the diocese means a committed group of volunteers are working towards building a Diocesan Vision for Youth Ministry that will give all young people more opportunities to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Youth Groups/Organisations and Initiatives throughout the Diocese
Youth Ministry has been active for many years throughout our diocese. Many groups and volunteers have worked with outstanding commitment and dedication to provide new and exciting faith experiences for our young people. Some of the kinds of active ministry happening in the diocese recently or at present are through the following settings or faith based youth groups:
• COR/Encore ( aged 14-16) • Search ( aged 16-25) • Youth 2000 ( aged 16-35)
• Youth Community (IOSAS 18-30) • Youth Folk Group (Taize) • Summer Schemes
• Faith In Light • Youth Novena • Youth Vigil
• Youth Masses (IOSAS) • Diocesan Mass for Deceased Young People. (November)
• Diocesan Youth Day on Pentecost Sunday • Diocesan Youth Choir - REJOICE! • ‘Youth Ushers’ for ‘Fan the Flame’
Youth Trips and Pilgrimages
Each year the diocese takes a group of young people to Lourdes. This year over 80 young people travelled to Lourdes in July they were aged 14-35 and travelled in two Youth Teams. This year was the 150th Anniversary of the apparitions and it was for many an amazing experience. The group had a great weeks fun as they participated in the Jubilee Way, the Diocesan events, the Liturgy of the water, the World Youth Day events and much more. Lourdes is a special place of pilgrimage that is ever popular with young people many of whom return as helpers year after year.
The diocese have an annual Hike to Croagh Padraig where young people make the steep climb weather permitting to the summit. The views from the top are outstanding which is a great reward for the tough climb. Young people bring to mind their intentions for the hike as they gather to celebrate Mass in the chapel at the summit. The Day trip is an adventure for sure filled with a mixture of experiences. Some young people choose to climb the mountain in their bare feet as a sacrifice for their intentions.
Many young people from the Diocese travelled to the Catholic Summer Youth Festivals in Knock and Clonmacnoise in July and August. These festivals provided an opportunity for young Catholics from all over Ireland and beyond to come together to celebrate their faith in music, drama, prayer and friendship. The festivals are for young people aged 16-35.
World Youth Day
Pope Benedict XVI recently announced that the next International World Youth Day will be held in Madrid in Spain in 2011. World Youth Day happens every few years at an international level and it is an opportunity for young Catholics from all over the world to come together to meet the Holy Father. It is an experience filled with great liturgies and energy and the diocese will certainly work towards bringing a large group to Spain in 2011.