The GIFT programme introduced in the diocese last Autumn for Year 9’s or 1st Years may be needed this year more than ever!
GIFT stands for Growing in Faith Together and it is a Post Confirmation Parish Programme
The programme invites the P7’s/6th Class back together in the first term after they have left Primary/National School. The idea is the young people have a chance to come back together at parish level and reflect on the sacrament of confirmation, the gifts and fruits of the spirit and how these can help them navigate the challenges and excitement of starting a new school.
As we are all too aware due to Covid-19 the P7’s/6th Class have unavoidably been robbed of their final term and the chance to complete their final year. This time is uniquely special as they prepare to leave primary/national school, a time when they would have normally been reflecting on all they have achieved and preparing and planning to look to the future and new beginnings. Many of the pupils have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation and all are disappointed to miss their final days in school with classmates. Schools have been very creative online as they celebrate their leavers classes with many inviting them online to special liturgies, events and making memorable videos.
The GIFT Programme particularly this year may be a good opportunity, if government guidelines permit, for these young people to come together again with classmates at parish level. The programme runs for 6-8 weeks and every week focuses on different gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The motto of the programme is fun, faith and friendship and each session involves games, prayer, scripture, saint of the week, arts and crafts, baking or another creative task and it ends with a quiet time for reflection. Some weeks have invited guests to speak or a demonstration such as first aid. Whilst it is too early to tell if we can run GIFT this Autumn in our parish settings the youth department are confident that if needed an online version of this programme could be made available also to help these young people transition into post primary school. GIFT 1 usually starts in October.
We are inviting parishes who delivered GIFT last year to get in touch with us as we plan for this Autumn’s programme and GIFT 2. We would also encourage new parish leaders to consider introducing GIFT in your parish and Lizzie or I would be delighted to chat to you about this.
Please email us for more information: