We had some great experiences while in Rome at the CYMFed Conference as well as having valuable time to network with our contemporaries. Sharing ideas and supporting each other is vital and we all agreed we should give more time to this in the future.
The week began with a visit to the Catacombs of San Callisto which was a unique experience of our history. This greatly contrasted our visit later that day to the Pontifical Council for Culture; a place full of new vision, yet both were rich experiences of our diverse Church.
At the Council for Culture we enjoyed several hours of input and discussion with Richard Rouse, Head of Communication and Mons. Tomasz Trafny, Head of the Science Department. Their welcome and time with us was inspiring. Richard Rouse told us about their research to know what draws people together in our modern world in order to then engage with them. We also enjoyed a seminar with Rev Dr Martin Poulsom SDB focusing on the ‘Signposts and Milestones’ of the Vision Document ‘Called to a Noble Adventure‘ (Watch it below).
On the Wednesday we celebrated Mass with the students at the Venerable English College, and on the Thursday we were addressed by the Pontifical Council for Laity and a Representative of the Youth Section. This led us into a great discussion about what we, as a Federation, might be able to do to better communicate with the Council for Laity to ensure they are in touch with our Catholic youth culture here in the UK. We also expressed a desire to collaborate on some level with other youth workers in different countries, which could be assisted by Youth Section at the Council for Laity.
The week ended with Mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II where we were asked to reflect in the coming months on how we can pass on our experiences of Rome to our youth leaders and young people.Text by Claire Webster, Augustinian Youth Ministry. Images by Theresa Behrens and Bishop Kieran Conry