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Tuesday, 06 November 2018 11:59

Year of Youth Update #7

 YOY 7

October has been a really busy, blessed and fruitful month for our team, with two major diocesan events and many many events in schools and parishes across this massive diocese.

One of the highlights was our New Horizons Youth Camp, which was attended by high school students from Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Whyalla and the Riverland.  The team presented music, dramas, talks and sessions for the young people, as well as hosting sharing groups and some fun times like Tom’s trivia night, and singing and marshmallows around the campfire.  A highlight was the amazing ‘plane wreck’ activity organised by Kathryn where participants found themselves marooned on an island and had to follow clues around the camp, encountering some interesting characters such as the two air hostesses (Nat and Jess), two tribal leaders (Berna and Larissa), a riddle master (Therese), a beast (Aodhan), a disgruntled shipwrecked sailor (Xavier) and two sea monsters (Amy and John). 

The participants were super responsive to all of the activities and sessions of the camp, and it was touching to see the commitments made by the young people in one of our final sessions.  We were also really blessed to have a young adult leader from Pt Augusta, Tom Royals, join us as an MC for the camp.

After the youth camp the team travelled to Peterborough to spend a weekend away together.  The character of the 100-year old presbytery we stayed in inspired us to have a murder mystery dinner party on Saturday night, where we came dressed as characters as assigned to us by our murder mystery creator, Kathryn, and spent the night acting in our roles and trying to work out whodunnit.  We spent Sunday driving and walking in the Flinders Ranges and visiting the parish of Hawker, where we shared a beautiful lunch with Fr Jimmy and parishioners after Mass.

Once school resumed the team provided sessions and lunchtime music at Samaritan College in Whyalla, as well as launching our parish formation program, Going Deeper, with the first of six sessions run by our team attracting a dozen parishioners wishing to grow more in faith.  It was exciting for the team to run a session of the Whyalla Youth Group, which attracts around 30 high school students on a Friday evening.

Our team returned to Caritas College in Port Augusta, engaging with students and staff in classes and lunchtime.  We were also excited to host a praise and worship night for young people in the parish and were really blessed by a big turn out and lots of amazing voices!

In Port Pirie, our team was involved with the All Churches Conference, where we experienced some amazing  praise and worship and listened to speakers (including Berna!) sharing on the theme ‘Kingdom Lifestyle’.  We provided music at masses at the Cathedral and Crystal Brook and were also privileged to be a part of the Year 12 farewell celebrations at St Mark’s College, providing music for a whole school mass and attending the Graduation Mass at the Cathedral.  Our team also had an amazing response from students in Year 7 and 9 to our class sessions and were keen to return for an opportunity to run a prayer session at the boarding house with St Mark’s boarders.  We were also pretty excited to do some bushwalking in glorious locations during our week in Pirie!

Our ministry in Port Lincoln included running lots of RE classes for St Joseph’s College, as well as retreat days for Year 10 students.  The team were also excited to be a part of some engaging Q&A panels with students and answering tricky questions!  While in Port Lincoln the team was also involved in running a training session for the leaders of the parish youth group and has high hopes for the ministry that these impressive young leaders will provide in the future.  We also had a fun night out on a speedboat while visiting one of the families from Port Lincoln parish.

Our Young Adults Retreat was held at Mary Knoll Retreat Centre in the stunning Beetaloo Valley on the last weekend in October and attracted young adults from all over the Diocese.  We were encouraged by the diversity of the young adults who attended, and loved journeying with them during the overnight retreat, with sessions, sharing groups, the chance for Mass and Reconciliation, providing music and sharing in a memorable dinner party and games night with them.  It was fantastic to join with Fr Harold and Bishop Greg in ministering to the young adults of the Diocese in this way!

Our team also enjoyed some time together to celebrate the wonderful Amy’s birthday before going separate ways to continue our ministry in the Riverland and Whyalla.

With only one month to go we are excited for all that is still ahead of us, with our final visits to the major centres of the diocese in the coming weeks and a final Youth Festival in Port Pirie to end the Year of Youth and our time here.  We are also feeling so grateful for the people we have encountered and the amazing youth and youth leaders of this Diocese.  What a blessing you are to our Church!