Pope Francis recently wrote to young Catholics around the world, announcing the upcoming Synod in 2018 on "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
In his letter to young people, Pope Francis invites them to reflect on how the Church can better accompany them in listening to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit stirring within them to ‘Go’ and live out their Christian vocation as agents of change in today’s world. In doing so, Pope Francis reflects on the story of Abram who was called to act in faith and ‘Go’ from the security of his homeland to a new land that God was to show him (Gen 12.1);
“I invite you to hear God's voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit…Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this "new land” for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?”
Pope Francis is keenly aware that the Church needs to better accompany young people, to listen to them and provide them with the necessary spiritual tools with which to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to their hearts;
“The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”
Pope Francis Letter to Young People.
So how are we doing in our ministry of accompanying the young?
At quarter-time of the year in Marist Youth Ministry and in light of the upcoming Synod, it’s good to pause and reflect on how our own agency is providing a ‘spiritual compass’ or reference point for young people, and enabling them in coming to know and love Jesus as his disciples.
As the photos and captions attest to below, there are many tangible ways in which MYM is listening to, accompanying and enabling young people, especially through Remar retreats and Caravel days, vibrant Eucharists and liturgies, Marist Connect and Exchange evenings, and numerous service projects with the young and needy. These are all grounded ways of helping the young to practically live their faith in Jesus and while at the same time, embody our Marist characteristics.
"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
Spiritual support for our Young Marists
Yet it’s not just in the doing that is helping our Young Marists to grow in their Christian identity of relationship with Jesus. It’s also in a growing desire for being in prayerful silence and contemplation, which is filtering through our all our programs. Taize prayer with scripture and silence and Lectio Divina are common forms of prayer that help to enable contemplation.
A number of our Young Marists and team members are taking up spiritual companioning with Br Tony Shears and Christine McCabe, while a small group of our ‘older’ young adults (25+) are seeking creative ways in which that they can be supported in their faith lives and Marist identity, as they transition to full-time professional life. Br Graham Neist is currently assisting with emerging group to gather in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, with the support of the Marist Association.
As we journey towards the light of Easter, let’s continue to pray that we can listen more humbly and respectfully to the needs of our young people so as to be more effective ministers of the Gospel with them.
MARIST YOUTH FESTIVAL
There are 13 Weeks to go until the Marist Youth Festival kicks off on Friday 30 June! Invitations have been sent to Marist Schools Australia and many young adults to attend this amazing Marist Bicentenary event. At this stage we have also heard that Marist students and young people will be attending from New Zealand, South Africa and the Philippines. They are keen to join with us an celebrate being young and Marist.
Full details and information about MYF17 can be found on our MYM Website. maristyouthministry.com/marist-youth-festival-2017-home
We are priveleged to be welcoming some wonderful international and local keynote speakers for the Festival including BIshop Columba Macbeth-Green from the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes.
MYF17 Central Planning Committee enjoying a break during a recent liturgy preparation meeting at the Marist Centre Sydney.
THE HILL COUNTRY BLOG IS NOW ACTIVE
Thanks to Caitie Humphrys and Cameron Martyn from MYM Brisbane for keeping our MYM Blog active with some wonderful Lenten reflections over the past five weeks. The Hill Country Blog, is a space for Young Marists to reflect on matters of life, faith and culture with other young people. You can find these weekly reflections using the following link. www.maristyouthministry.com/the-hill-country-blog/thereisnothingishallwant
MYM BRISBANE UPDATE
Caitie Humphrys (centre) at the recent Youth Conference in Melbourne with youth ministers from MSA schools in Victoria.
Young Adults gathered at the Marist Centre Brisbane at the end of March for the MYM Launch and to share ideas and hopes for building community in 2017.
MYM SYDNEY UPDATE
MYM CONNECT AT MARIST EASTWOOD
Year 12 Students at the recent Connect evening at Marist College Eastwood.
Andrew Dumas from the MLF Team joined in the Connect evening at Marist College Eastwood.
Students from Marist College Eastwood with Principal Mark Woolford at the Marist Connect evening.
Young Marist Nicole Fahey (Dundas '16) and Br Justin Guthrie were part of the hospitality team for the Marist Connect evening at Eastwood.
MYM CONNECT - MACARTHUR REGION
Year 12 students with MYM Team at the Connect evening for the Macarthur region held at Mt Carmel Catholic College Varroville.
Term 1 Connect for the Marists in the Macarthur region saw students from John Therry Catholic High School Rosemeadow and Mt Carmel Catholic College Varroville join together.
MYM CONNECT - EASTERN REGION
Students from Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood at the MYM Connect for the Eastern Region in Sydney.
MYM Assistant Dominic McDonald (Hunters Hill '15) leading a session at the Eastern Region Connect evening.
Marist College North Shore Students with College Campus Ministry, Michael Dela Cruz.
SYDNEY EXCHANGE AT EASTWOOD
Always great catching up! Young Marists and Brothers (Lawrie and Michael) at the recent young adult Exchange evening at Eastwood.
The Brothers' Community at Eastwood provides a terrific space for hosting our Young Marists in Western Sydney ... and the chefs are the best!
MYM MELBOURNE UPDATE
YOUNG MARISTS ASSIST AT SACRED HEART RETREATS
MYM Regional Assistant Maddy Forde (left) with Young Marists volunteering at the Sacred Heart Year 12 Retreat in Adelaide.
Young Marists joined with students and staff from Sacred Heart Adelaide in the College Chapel for a prayer gathering to mark the arrival of the Fourviere Painting - one of the four Bicentennial paintings created by Michael Galovic.
VISIT TO STUDENT LEADERS AT NEWMAN COLLEGE CHURCHLANDS
Br Greg with Student Leaders and Br Terry Orrell (Campus Minister) from Newman College Perth.
HOLY WEEK CEREMONIES IN MELBOURNE
MYM Melbourne events for the celebration of the Easter Triduum.
YOUNG MARIST VOLUNTEERS TRAINING DAY
RMT doing a few ice breakers with the new Young Marist Volunteers over the weekend.
Palm Sunday Peace Rallies are being held across the country this coming Sunday. Contact local Marists to organise a group to march!
NEW HELMS AND CO-ORDINATOR'S CONFERENCE #2
New Helms and Co-ordinator's Conference #2 at The Hermitage Mittagong included staff from Adelaide, Auburn, Bendigo, Churchlands and Dundas together with MYM staff from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and MLF.
Remar Co-ordinators and new Helms take part in the Commissioning Rite during the Eucharist at the Hermitage.
REMAR BLUE RETREAT #1 @ PHILLIP ISLAND
Witnessing to servant leadership. Remar National Co-ordinator Liz Wake washing the feet of the Remar Miniistry Team.
A moment of quiet reflection on the Remar Blue Retreat.
Young Marist Jeremy Allen (Warragul '15) tpreparing Remar singers and musos the Blue Retreat Eucharist.
RMT and Young Marists re-enact the Last Supper at Remar Blue Retreat #1.
The joy of early morning aerboics! A favourite warm up to the day's activities on the recent Remar Blue Retreat #1 at Phillip Island, led by Sarah Petruzzella (Adelaide, '14)
RED CARAVEL DAY AT MARCELLIN COLLEGE BULLEEN
The recent Red Caravel Day at Marcellin College Bulleen saw Rowers and Helms from Bulleen, Warragul and Traralgon in attendance.
Group sharing at the Red Caravel Day at Marcellin College.
CHECK OUT OUT NEW MYM WEBSITE
Check out our new MYM Website which features all our current programs.
That's the MYM wrap-up for the moment. If there's anything you'd like to ask about the mission and ministry of Marist Youth Ministry across our regions, or the upcoming Marist Youth Festival please don't hesitate to contact myself, Liz Wake (Melbourne), Jeni Miller (Sydney) or Caitie Humphrys (Brisbane).
Easter blessings and happy Term 1 holidays!
Brother Greg McDonald FMS
National MYM Co-ordinator