Kath Spencer, Office for Youth
This week 50 youth ministers and young people from 18 different Eastern parishes joined together with Monsignor Tony Ireland (EV for the Eastern Region) to share a meal, make new friends and talk about all things youth ministry.
Monsignor Ireland shared and reflecting on the recent national apology and encouraged the youth to not feel responsible for the mistakes of the clergy and bishops. He praised them for standing up for being Catholic in challenging times. After a delicious dinner, we split into groups to discuss youth ministry questions as well as to listen and discuss a revised Plenary 2020 question: What do you think God is asking of us at this time in our region of Melbourne?
With so many thoughts and ideas being shared, some of the key words to spring to mind were the need for an ‘authentic’ church, to ‘listen’, to ‘dialogue more’, to give youth the ‘truth’ as well as ideas focusing on bring Eastern parishes together to unite youth and schools across the region.
The gathering allowed for truly healthy and robust conversations that we hope to continue and grow in the next year.
This week, Bishop Peter Elliott also hosted the Southern region dinner at St Gerard’s in Dandenong with a similar enthusiasm and program. The Archdiocesan Office for Youth hosts dinners in each region on behalf of the Bishops