Forming and serving Youth Ministry in England and Wales

“Young people are not only the future but also the present (and gift) in the Church”

 

The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith: Closing list of propositions

At the end of the Synod on the New Evangelisation, those gathered, including Bishop Kieran Conry who has responsibility for young people for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, presented a set of fifty-eight propositions or recommendations around evangelisation in the world. They are currently in draft, and all of them speak in some way to youth ministry. Below are some of those which are worth us beginning to reflect on in our work with young people.

Proposition 51 : YOUTH AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
In the New Evangelization, the youth are not only the future but also the present (and gift) in the Church. They are not only the recipients but also agents of evangelization, especially with their peers. The youth are in the stage of searching for truth and meaning in life that Jesus who is the Truth and their Friend can provide.
Through exemplary Christian adults, the saints, especially the young saints, and through committed youth ministers, the Church is visible and credible for the youth. Wherever they are, at home, in school, or in the Christian community, it is necessary that evangelizers meet the young and spend time with them; propose to them and accompany them in following Jesus, guide them to discover their vocation in life and in the Church.

Through exemplary Christian adults, the saints, especially the young saints, and through committed youth ministers, the Church is visible and credible for the youth.

As the media greatly influence the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of the youth, the Church through catechesis and youth ministry strives to enable and equip them to discern between good and evil, to choose Gospel values over worldly values, and to form firm faith convictions.

The World Youth Day celebrations and YOUCAT are special instruments of the New Evangelization.

 

Proposition 27 : EDUCATION
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20). Education is a constitutive dimension of evangelization. To proclaim the Risen Jesus Christ is to accompany all human beings in their personal story, in their development and in their spiritual vocation. Education needs, at the same time, to promote everything that is true, good and beautiful that is a part of the human person, that is to say, to educate the mind and the emotions to appreciate reality.

Children, teenagers and young people have a right to be evangelized and educated. The schools and Catholic universities respond in this way to this need. Public institutions should recognize and support this right.

Schools should assist families in introducing children into the beauty of the faith. Schools offer a great opportunity to transmit the faith or at least to make it known.

The Synod Fathers are grateful for the work of education carried out by thousands of teachers, male and female, in Catholic educational institutions in the five continents.
The Synod Fathers are grateful for the work of education carried out by thousands of teachers, male and female, in Catholic educational institutions in the five continents.
Because of the singular role of teachers, it is important that they receive ongoing formation in carrying out their responsibilities.
Schools must be free to teach. This freedom is an inalienable right.
For this reason in order to ensure that our institutions are agents of evangelization and not just products of evangelization, the Synod:
– Encourages Catholic educational institutions to do all that is possible to preserve their identity as ecclesial institutions;
– Invites all teachers to embrace the leadership which is theirs as baptized disciples of Jesus, giving witness through their vocation as educators; and
– Urges particular Churches, religious families, and all those who have responsibility in the educational institutions, to facilitate the co-responsibility of lay people, offering adequate formation and accompaniment for this.

 

Bishop Kieran Conry, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Bishop Michael Campbell OSA and Archbishop Bernard Longley, at the Synod on the New Evangelisation in Rome.
© Milner/catholicnews.org.uk

 

Proposition 29 : CATECHESIS, CATECHISTS AND THE CATECHISM
Good Catechesis is essential for the New Evangelization. The Synod calls attention to the indispensable service that catechists provide the ecclesial communities and expresses profound gratitude for their dedication. All catechists, who are at the same time evangelizers, need to be well prepared. Every effort should be made within the possibilities of the local situation to provide catechists with strong ecclesial formation, that is spiritual, biblical, doctrinal and pedagogical. Personal witness to the faith is itself a powerful form of catechesis.
The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and its Compendium are, above all, a resource for teaching the faith and supporting adults in the Church in their evangelizing and catechizing mission.
According to the Apostolic Letter Ministeria quaedam of Pope Paul VI, Episcopal Conferences have the possibility to request from the Holy See the institution of the Ministry of Catechist.

 

Proposition 37 : THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
All the Christian faithful are entrusted with the mission to evangelize, due to the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Here the faithful are sealed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and are called to participate in the mystery of Pentecost. Through Confirmation, all the baptized receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, his charisms, and the power to give witness to the Gospel openly and with courage.

…proper and systematic catechesis prior to the reception of [Baptism and Confirmation] is of prime importance.
It is important that mystagogical catechesis accompany the grace of filial adoption received at Baptism, underlining the importance of the gift of the Holy Spirit which enables one to fully participate in the Eucharistic witness of the Church and its influence in all the spheres of life and human activity.
Hence proper and systematic catechesis prior to the reception of these sacraments is of prime importance.

Full text is available on the Vatican website

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