Saturday, 26 March 2011

Making Saints – An Adventure in Love

Over 700 adults engaged in Youth Ministry in England and Wales assembled in London (on Saturday 12th March) for a National Congress. The theme: “Called to a Noble Adventure – A Vision for Youth Ministry”.

CYMFed – the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation – organised the event in the knowledge that those present represent work and ministry with over 100,000 young people per year, committed to a vision of vibrant Youth Ministry in the Church. During the Papal Visit one of the key things that the Holy Father reminded us was to ‘know our purpose’. This Congress, in part, prompted all to know that their calling and work makes a unique contribution to the mission of the Church.

Keynote Speakers were Reverend J-Glenn Murray, SJ, Michelle Moran and David Wells with input from Cardinal Peter Turkson and Paschal Uche.
Fr J-Glenn Murray SJ speaking at the Congress
© 2011 Catholic Youth Ministry Federation.
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Fr Murray told the gathering that as children of God we should not be afraid. In the ordinary things we do are the characteristics of saints. Saints of old lost their tempers and made mistakes. Our job is to make saints and we walk in good company on this noble adventure.

Michelle Moran emphasised the need for authentic catechesis alongside experiential faith. We seriously need to ensure that our ministry has both of these things; without either it is lacking.

David Wells advised that if you lose your vocation, or the passion of love, then go back to the beginning of your dream, to the place where you first fell in love.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, reminded us to keep working against poverty and injustice. On our behalf he has called on world leaders to keep their promises of investing in material poverty. He challenged everyone to also address spiritual poverty.

Paschal Uche, who welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of Britain's young Catholics last September, spoke of the importance of his Christian Faith and that it is part of who he is, the Papal Visit and how events like the Congress give an immense feeling of family.

At this year’s Congress there was a sense of joy, community and a common purpose among those who gathered. Youth Ministry in England and Wales has to be a life-changing adventure of making saints because our God demands nothing less from us. It is an adventure of embracing the Gospel in its fullness and being radically transformed by it. It is an adventure full of love and the adventure continues following the announcement of Flame - a National Congress for Young People in March 2012.

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