A three day weekend just completed at the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention has reinvigorated hundreds of youth ministers from around the nation. Presenters from the USA and around Australia came to help strengthen the formation of youth ministers, shaping the vision and direction of youth ministry in Australia and sharing resources, skills and networks for youth ministers.
“The ACYMC was a huge success. A significant event in the life of the Church and for youth ministry in Australia” reported Malcolm Hart, Senior Youth Ministry Projects Officer for the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.
The convention brought together almost 400 participants from youth ministry in schools, parishes, communities, movements, religious institutions and dioceses from Australia and visitors to the Convention from New Zealand.
A strong component of the convention was the forging of stronger bonds between the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and youth ministers. The seven Bishops who taught, prayed and mentored the youth ministers over the three days were inspired to see the large crowds gathered and the enthusiasm of participants.
“You are the ones who support the young heart of the Church. Your role is important and the Bishops of Australia want to continue to support you in this ministry” said Bishop Eugene Hurley, Chairman of the BCPL.
Dr Bob McCarty and Dr Maggie McCarty from America were able to share more than 28 years of national experience in leadership in youth ministry with the participants. Covering ‘Foundational and Inspirational Youth Ministry’, they told participants that the changing Church landscape requires youth ministers to adapt their approaches in bringing the message of Christ to young people.
On the final day, Bishop Joseph Grech, the Bishops delegate for youth, commissioned the delegates to spread the Gospel message throughout Australia, with a passionate and charismatic exhortation to grasp their identity and mission as Christians with both hands. “You must take the passion you have for Christ to the young people of the Church. You are to ground yourselves in the scriptures. God has called each one of you to this vital ministry in the Church” said Bishop Grech.
Christine Anderson a Diocesan Youth Ministry worker from Brisbane commented “The content and process was both exhilarating and challenging and I am excited and hopeful for the future of the Church and youth ministry.”
A special feature of the conference was its accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing, with a small team of AUSLAN interpreters translating keynote addresses and workshop proceedings for these participants.
Conference resources will include a DVD of the presentations and some workshops, showing speakers and AUSLAN interpreters. This DVD will be available as a resource for the whole youth ministry community, including the deaf and hard of hearing. The Bishops and many young people commented on this amazing ministry which was inspiring to those who attended. To order DVDs please contact:
Malcolm Hart, Senior Youth Ministry Projects
Tel: 07 3109 6806