Saturday, 26 November 2011

Thirty Years Young

Last Saturday 19th November at St Wilfrid’s School, Crawley, West Sussex, Bishop Kieran Conry of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton joined with 250 people, young and not so young, to celebrate 30 years of the diocesan Youth Service. Bishop, now Cardinal, Cormac Murphy O’Connor set up the Youth Service 30 years ago to offer the young people of the diocese the means to deepen, understand and develop their faith as they moved into adulthood. Many of those ‘young people’, from every era of the Youth Service, were there to recognise and celebrate the value of the work that had been done.

The celebration began with friends, old and new, gathering together to look at displays and pictures from over all the 30 years. There was much laughter as people remembered events and people from over the whole 30 years. It was a real joy for many to meet up again with friends they had not seen for months, years and even decades.

The event also saw the presence of several generations of youth officers as the first Youth Officer, Karen Goldsmith joined later Youth Officers Brendan Conway, Patrick Harrison and the current Youth Officer Ray Mooney to mark this celebration. Their hard work over the years had ensured that today the diocese has many young people active in its life and created a vibrant and lively Catholic youth scene.

Bishop Kieran spoke proudly during the celebration of Mass of the 30 years work of the Youth service. Reflecting on those 30 years he said that the diocese had a responsibility to care for young people just as a shepherd cares for his sheep and the Diocesan Youth Service was a sign of that care. He looked to the future for the Youth Service and young people with much hope.

The evening continued with a resplendent buffet as people continued to chat among themselves and renew old acquaintances, make new ones and share memories recent and long ago.

Current Diocesan Youth Officer, Ray Mooney said “I had no idea who might come, but we have been overwhelmed by the response. Such a large number of people attending stand as a testament to the value of the service in the past, and the value of the service as we go forward into the future. In the words of Pope John Paul II, who initiated the International World Youth Days in 1980s, ‘Remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm, look forward to the future with confidence!’ This sums up the work of the Youth Service in this diocese.”

No comments:

Post a Comment