“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
Some years ago I ran a church youth club for Year 6 and over, and at that time CAFOD were using the above Nelson Mandela quote. It has always been one of my favourite quotes to inspire our youth, and it seems particularly apt in that this weekend 10,000 of our young people/catechists/Priests etc. are congregating in Wembley for Flame 2023.
I was hoping to be there, but work/home commitments have got in the way. If there is some way that we can bottle the energy, vibrance and feel good factor of Flame, and bring it back to the parishes, and the organisations that we are all part of, then the church and its charities would be thriving.
Speaking from experience here, many of our young people (the TikTok Generation as I have heard them called) are more worried about which gender, if any, they want to identify with, and whether what their parents are saying is politically correct, rather than rolling up their sleeves and getting involved.
We have a world that is in a mess; the climate issues, the threat of yet another World War; the cost of living. How do we focus the youth that are not engaged into realising that this is their world too?
One idea would be to encourage them to attend the NJPN Conference in July. At a recent Conference Planning Meeting, one of the big things that came out was to find ways to get some more young people to attend. The Conference has a great energy to it, and if we could just get them through the door, I am sure they would be just as enthused as we are to be there. I know my son was 19 when he attended the online Conference (during the Covid year). He is now 22 and this year will be his third Conference in person – and he has never looked back. If you have children or grandchildren that you feel might benefit from coming along, please consider bringing them. If they are students at Uni, maybe their CathSoc would sponsor them. I know some of the Dioceses are looking at bursary schemes for young people. Why not approach yours?
(CAFOD also have some ways that young people can get involved on their website. That is also well worth a look.)
Last week’s Networking Day on the Cost of Living Crisis was fantastic, and we have a little bit about it further down. Well done to our Speakers and the work that they are doing. I believe that a recording of the Day will be on the website sometime soon. Our Action of the Week came out of one of the discussions from last weekend.
All being well, the next e-bulletin will be out around the 18th March, so if you have anything that you want included, I would appreciate receiving it by Friday 16th please.
God bless, and keep up the good work,