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Youth Initiative Launched

August 6, 2009 11:20 am
Anointed and Sent: An Australian Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry, launched
 
 Anointed and Sent: An Australian Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry has been hailed as “essential reading for those entering youth ministry” during its launch at the annual gathering of Lay Movements, held on the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s arrival in Sydney for World Youth Day.
 
Bishop Brian Heenan, who was a member of the former Bishops Committee for Laity which approved the project, said “this resource will be essential reading for those entering Youth Ministry and a useful guide for thinking about youth ministry into the future”.
 
The launch was included as part of the annual gathering of Lay Movements, an initiative of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry, which this year took the focus of Church Ministry with Youth. In addressing the participants, Bishop Michael Malone, the Commission Chair, and fashionably dressed as a World Youth Day pilgrim encouraged all movements to celebrate “Youth as a gift to be shared not a problem to be solved.” 
 
The gathering was facilitated by Mr Malcolm Hart, Senior Youth Ministry Project Officer for the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, who shared his reflections on the three goals and eight focus areas of the document and recent developments in youth ministry from across Australia.
 
Mrs Karen Lunney, Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Sandhurst Diocese outlined the journey of many years towards a ratified and published national vision for youth ministry. Initiated by the Australian Network of Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinators (ANDYMC), the consultation process and subsequent writing of the document was the work of a team of people under the guidance of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.
 
“I am so pleased to see the final printed document. It has been a marathon effort on behalf of all involved, and will hopefully provide a language with which we can negotiate the youth ministry terrain in a post WYD Australia,” she said.
 
Bishop Joseph Grech, the Bishops Delegate for Youth on the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life describes the importance of youth ministry in his introduction to Anointed and Sent.
 
“We are all in relationship with young people in some way, and each young person is important. Young people are a part of our community and we all need to be active in ministry with them to reflect this,” he said. There are many strategies for youth ministry that link to this framework, from the national and diocesan level to youth ministry in parishes and schools. I encourage everyone to use Anointed and Sent as a resource for reflection and action, and find ways to meet the goals and the focus areas that fit your community.”
 
Representing the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry, Bishop Malone, Bishop Heenan and Bishop Finnigan were joined at the gathering by representatives of 16 Lay Movements and organisations including youth movements. A highlight of the gathering was hearing the realities and thoughts from three young people about how to understand and engage youth in the Church.
 
Anointed and Sent: An Australian Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry will be distributed to parishes and secondary schools around Australia. Additional copies can be can be purchased/ordered through
the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Youth Ministry website at www.youthministry.catholic.org.au.