Youth Ministry has three goals:
- To foster the personal and spiritual growth of each young person
- To draw young people into responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic faith community
- To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
These goals are advanced through eight focus areas:
- Prayer and Worship
- Pastoral Care
- Community Life
- Justice and Service
- Leadership Development
The Social Justice group is concerned with raising awareness of issues of injustice, both globally and locally. As well, it is concerned with assisting agencies actively involved with those in our community affected by such issues. The work of the Social Justice group is grounded on the teachings of Jesus, and his model of service and ministry to the marginalised in our world and local community.
Some of the activities the Social Justice group have been involved with include:
- Awareness raising about issues of injustice in developing countries around the world
- asylum seekers in Australia and their treatment in detention centres
- issues of inequality and injustice in Australia including our indigenous population
- Fundraising to assist agencies such as Caritas Australia, Catholic Mission, St Vincent De Paul Society, Centacare and others in their work with the people affected by injustice and inequality.
- Community service with agencies who assist people affected by injustice. These include Matthew Talbot Hostel and St Vincent De Paul. Students also undertake weekly visits to the Nagle Apartments, as a senior commitment.
Year 9 Evangelisation Day
In 2014, the theme for our day was “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Mt 5:8). Students are invited to attend various seminars that respond to the theme of the day and will celebrate Mass in the ACU Chapel.
Year 10 Evangelisation Retreat
In 2014, each school in the Southern Region was invited to send 10 – 12 students from Year 10 to an Evangelisation Retreat. This retreat encompassed various workshop sessions facilitated by Youth Ministry Coordinators from the region. The theme of the retreat is “Give a Voice to the Cry of the Poor”.
"Last Monday, the 21st of July I was given the opportunity to partake in the 2014 Year 10 Evangelisation Retreat along with 10 other students from our school community. The theme for this years retreat revolved around "giving a voice to the cry of the poor," a quote from Pope Francis that raises the complex question of what we, as witnesses to the love of Christ, can do to respond to the needs of those in poverty.
Over the course of the retreat we were privileged enough to meet people who have devoted their lives in an attempt to spread Jesus' message of global unity and equality throughout the world, including Stephen Kirk, Sam Clear and Bishop Terry Brady. The messages and questions raised within their presentations were extremely engaging and it was an honour to listen to the experiences and journeys they have encountered in an attempt to find Jesus in their lives.
For me, the highlight of this experience was Eucharistic Adoration, an extremely reverent and respectful time where we gathered in remembrance of Jesus and what He gave. This prayerful time was a unique experience and over the few hours that it lasted I was humbled to be able to participate in the communal acknowledgement of Jesus' presence among us.
I would just like to thank Mrs Giovenco for all of the time she devoted to ensure that we could participate in this retreat and I hope that myself and the other students are able to share our experiences with the rest of the school community."
- Leadership Development
- Global Leaders Convention 2014
- Catechesis and Catechesis Programs
- Senior Student Ministry Programs
Leadership development in youth ministry calls forth the gifts of young people, empowering them and supporting them in ministry with their peers, the wider faith community and beyond. It also provides opportunities for adults to gain skills and experience in mentoring and assisting youth in the development of ministry opportunities.
Leaders for youth ministry need to be called, trained and encouraged using a process for discerning gifts. This is vital for supporting and directing young people in determining appropriate leadership roles, whether as paid staff or as volunteers.
The Global Leaders Convention is held annually by World Vision Australia. It brings thousands of student leaders together for one day to learn about the underlying causes of poverty, the stark inequalities of the world we live in and how they can contribute to an everlasting change. The students learn this through dynamic keynote speakers, multimedia presentations, peer-to-peer learning and engagement and an interactive global simulation game.
You might ask yourself what is Evangelisation? Well, the simplest explanation is that Evangelisation is an invitation extended to young people to encounter a personal experience with Jesus Christ through the Church. It encourages all ages to live every day of their lives as witnesses; evangelising others and the culture in which they live. It provides opportunities and conversations that deepen young people’s relationship with God, encouraging them to live as disciples and discover Christ’s invitation to full sacramental relationship with Him. The Liturgy is to be considered the central place of evangelisation.
Evangelisation includes creating a space of warm hospitality in which God may speak to people. It is an invitation to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. All evangelisation begins with the recognition of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit already in all young people and their experiences. Evangelisation enables young people to uncover and name the experience of a God already active and present in their lives, and encourages them to evangelise others. Evangelisation ultimately draws people into full discipleship.
Young people are called to become the agents for the new evangelisation, working in collaboration with their local community, to reach out and witness to Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Young People are to be encouraged and assisted to use many and varied creative means, always seeking to build a bridge between the ancient faith and the contemporary world, between the tabernacle and the street.
Catechesis involves developing an awareness of the lives of those in whose footsteps we follow, from saints to members of the community, who provide living witness of remaining faithful to God in the world of today.
Catechesis includes praying the scriptures, celebrating sacraments, deepening appreciation for the Gospel as handed on by the Catholic Church, reflecting on daily life in the light of the Gospel and deepening in the life of Christ, who dwells within all who have received Baptism.
St Catherine Laboure Gymea - Gymea Public Primary School
A select group of current year 11 students were invited to take part in the St Catherine Laboure Catechist Project at Gymea Bay Public School. The project involved students going to Gymea Bay Public School to teach students in year 3 about the Catholic religion and help facilitate faith formation. The students met at Gymea Bay Primary School on their designated morning to teach a program that was specifically developed for them. Before teaching the set lessons the students underwent extensive training. The students involved in the 2014 program include
St Patrick’s College Sutherland Catechist Project - Sutherland Public Primary School
2014 was the first year that St Patrick’s Church Catechist Project, partnered with Sutherland Public School, has run. The program involves year 11 students going to Sutherland Public School to talk to year 3 students about the Catholic religion and help facilitate faith formation not accessible in the public system.
During school time the students were trained by a catechist leader of St Patrick’s Church Sutherland. Each student completed training so that they may be issued with a “green card”, this allows the students to enter the primary school. All participating students attended the first session on Thursday the 20th of February. This session operated as a meet and greet with the students that they will be teaching and also as an opportunity to become familiar with the teaching environment.
Once the program begins the students will be required to meet at Sutherland Primary School at an allocated time on their designated Thursday afternoon. They will work with a class of year 3 students for approximately one hour following a program that has been developed for them. Amongst a group of three students they will be required to attend three to four sessions throughout the year that will occur during school hours. A roster of dates will be issued to each student.
Further preparation for this program, students are required to attend Vigil Mass on Saturday 1st of February at St Patricks Sutherland at 5pm, at this time they will receive a blessing from Father John Knight commissioning them as Catechists amongst the community.
Even though this is a large time commitment on behalf of the students, the experience they will gain from it and students of Sutherland Public School, is extremely worthwhile.
Social Justice is not only an important pillar of our Catholic faith but it also enables the students at St Patrick’s College to work collaboratively together for the good of others. The Ministry program aims to encourage and promote activities that will allow the students to become active members of the school and wider community. It is structured so that those participating may gather important life skills that most likely will not be accessible once they are no longer a part of the College community.
The Ministry program has been a great success thanks to our student participation in initiatives such as:
- St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol
- St Vincent de Paul Matthew Talbot Hostel
- St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Appeal
- Australian Red Cross Blood Service
- Southern Cross Nagle Apartments
St Vincent de Paul - Night Patrol
As a part of the Ministry and Social Justice Program at St Patrick’s College are involved in the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Night Patrol program. This is a nightly service provided by the society for our homeless in Sydney. Volunteers travel in one of the society’s vans to various places in the Sydney CBD to provide food and comfort to our homeless. The Society has been running this program for many years with the assistance of senior school students from St Patrick’s college and it has been a valuable part of this program.
The program requires students to meet at the College on the designated Friday evening at 6pm where a staff member will drive the students to the SVDP centre at Lewisham. There they load the van with the food and drink much of which had been collected by the generosity of the students of St Patrick’s in their support of social justice at the College. From there a staff member will drive the students in the SVDP van to various points in the Sydney CBD. We provide some food and hot beverages as well as interacting with our homeless as we are serving them.
St Vincent de Paul - Matthew Talbot Hostel
The Matthew Talbot element of Ministry is an afternoon service provided by the society for our homeless men in Sydney. This involves the students setting and clearing tables at the inner city hostel. Students are accompanied by two staff members and transported to the hostel by the car on a Thursday afternoon/ evening, leaving school at about 3:20pm and returning at approximately at 6:30pm. This has become a successful and regular part of our College ministry program.
St Vincent de Paul, Christmas Hamper Appeal
As Term 4, 2014 progressed, all our focus turned to our annual St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. The College community have been very generous in giving donations for a number of causes. Each Pastoral Care class were allocated either a family or group that the Christmas hamper went to. Year 7-10 will be donated their Christmas hampers to local families identified by St Vincent De Paul Society and year 11 donated to the Nagel Apartments and the Matthew Talbot Hostel. It was a beautiful sight to see the many large and overflowing hampers that were sent off.