The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has shown its ongoing support for youth ministry after Sydney’s 2008 World Youth Day (WYD) with the confirmation of an ongoing position focused on youngpeople in the Conference’s Secretariat for Pastoral Life.
In November 2008, the Australian Bishops created a temporary role within its Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life (BCPL), which aimed to support the work of the newly established Australian Catholic Youth Council and build upon the graces of WYD 2008 in Sydney. With the trial period ending later this year, the Conference has resolved for this position become an ongoing role.
Bishop Christopher Prowse, Bishops’ Delegate for Youth, said the Conference had re-enforced the Bishops’ commitment to youth in the Church and to continuing the work by their late brother Bishop
Joseph Grech in youth ministry.
“Bishop Grech helped establish a vital youth ministry on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Australia, and it is important that we continue this work. It is critical that we continue to work with young people as the young heart of the Church and share with them the life and passion that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.”
Mr Malcolm Hart, a long term diocesan youth minister, has been fulfilling the position of Senior Youth Ministry Projects Officer within the Secretariat for Pastoral Life for the past two years. Building upon his work and successes in the role, the BCPL has invited Malcolm to continue in this position on an ongoing basis.
“It is a privilege to be asked to continue in this important and inspiring role. Over the past two years, the Australian Catholic Youth Council and I have been able to break new ground in resourcing, supporting and networking youth ministers in Australia. I hope this work can continue into the future.”
The Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (in Melbourne 2010) and a coordinated national approach to sending over 3000 pilgrims to WYD Madrid are just some of the large initiatives coordinated by Malcolm over the past two years. Other initiatives, such as a national youth ministry website and resource directory, guidelines for employing youth ministry coordinators, and annual youth ministry resources, also underpin these larger initiatives and are working toward a more sustainable approach to such an important ministry.
“Over the past four years, the Youth Council has focused on resourcing those who minister with young people post WYD 2008. Into the future it hopes to respond with some more direct initiatives and resources for young people as they come to know Jesus Christ through the Church.”