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New Methodology in Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese

Bishop Bosco Penha

(In charge of Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Bombay)

 

After the synod of 2001, the youth has been taken as one of the three main priorities in the archdiocese. In order to reach out to as many youth as possible, a new methodology was thought of and it was  published in 2003 in a booklet entitled, Parish Pastoral Guidelines to Parish Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Bombay" (Indian Catholic Youth Movement-Bombay, 2003).

 

This methodology was introduced to the members of the Assembly at the Synodal Mid-Term Assembly 2006 and mandated for the whole archdiocese in the resolutions of MTSA. It was supposed to be in place in all the parishes of the archdiocese by may 2007. It has progressed in different parishes according to the efforts made in each parish.

I wish, in the article, to introduce this method to the wider public. I am exposing this methodology in six sections.

1. Why has the new methodology been introduced?

It was introduced because we found that:

a)Many parishes had no youth groups at all.

b)Other parishes had comparatively small groups e.g. in a large parish where the youth group members 30 youth, the actual number of the youth was 1000. That means we had touched about  3percent of the youth. Can we continue with this kind of youth contact?

2. An analysis of the situation revealed that we are making three mistakes:

a)That we depend on the priest alone. Since priests are constantly transferred, this ministry has no stablility.  One priest may come and do a wonderful job with youth whereas his successor may be inept and the whole ministy collapses.

b)When we stick to the centre, we get a much smaller number of youth joining. Those from far-flung areas of the parish are less likely to be attracted.

c) This youth group at the centre tends to be an "elite" group, more westernised in its way. The youth who speak vernaculars would not feel comfortabe in this group. Even fruter, this group tends to become a cloque and to keep out, perhaps unintentionally, the other youth of the parish. There is not much concern in such agroup about all the other youth who are not involved. The youth slowly becomes enclosed on itself.

3.Hence it was decided that we would overcome these difdiculties by:

a)Having a ParishYouth Animatin Team(PYAT) to handle the youth ministry. These should number about six to twelve people depending upon the size of the parish and would consist of peple who have a charism for dealing with youth (age no bar)

b)Moving from the centre to Neighbourhood Youth Groups (NYGs). Each Small Christian Community will have its own NYG. This would also bring more life to the SCCs.

c) Establishing a Parish Youth Council. One the NYGs are established, one or two representatives from each of these NYGs would form the Parish Youth Council (PYC). This Youth Council would then ensure that there is a youth group in the centre of the parish but one that is always concerned about the periphery and not lost in itself. Its ongoing task would be to bring the parish into contact with every youth.

Hence the new terminology is as follows:

1.Parish Youth Animation Team (PYAT)

2.Neighbourhood Youth Group(NYG)

3.Parish Youth Council(PYC)

4. This must be a collective effort and not left to one priest or group. It calls for the collabortation of:

a).The Clergy Team:Every preist must be involved in this youth ministry, in his own way, according to hs talents and gifts.

b)All the religious in the parish

c)The Parish Council plays an important role since each parish councilor is responsible for the people, the youth in his community(from which he is elected)

d)SCC Animators are also central to this ministry. It is they who should help the PYAT by makin g a survey on the youth in their community and helping in the ongoing effort.

e) Lay Associations and Cells must also be involved according to their own particular charism, e.g. by the legionaries through visitation.

f)Charismatic Groups/Praye Groups through prayer for this intention.

g)Parents must understand this ministry and encourge their children to be involved. They themselves can also help in whatever way possible, according to their circumstances. The difficulties of parents must be listened to and taken into account.

h) The Youth themselves are the best missionaries to each other.

i)The entire parish also must keep this intention in prayer and feel themselves responsible for the outcome. Hence occasional announcements at the Sunday Masses about the progress of this ministry should be made. We need "all hands on deck" if we are to succeed!

5. Searching for new ways of youth involvement:

In the past, youth involvement in the parish meant joining a youth group andattending a weekly/fortnightly meeting. This may not be possible given the changed circumstances in which the youth live today. A strong characteristic of this is the fast pace of life. Hence, we have to search for  mutiple, creative ways of getting the youth involved, for example:

a)By attending regualar meetings

b)By attending occasional study sessions/training programmes/get toethers.

c)Through registration in the parish youth office

d)Through a youth bulletin fostering intereaction among all youth in the parish

e)By contributing their talents and expertise to the parish

f)Through contact with call centres

g)Through emial connectedness

Some of these ways are, in fact, being tried in various parishes.

Conclusion

It is our hope that this methodology will help the Church in Mumbai to rach out to more and more youth to enable them to experience the love and the concern that Jesus has for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 
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Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
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    Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time LECTIONARY 499 FIRST READING 2 MC 7:1, 20-31 It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage, she exhorted each of them in the language of their ancestors with these words: “I do not know how you came into existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is composed. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shapes each man’s beginning, as he brings about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.” Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words, thought he was being ridiculed. As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him, not with mere words, but with promises on oath, to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs: he would make him his Friend and entrust him with high office. When the youth paid no attention to him at all, the king appealed to the mother, urging her to advise her boy to save his life. After he had urged her for a long time, she went through the motions of persuading her son. In derision of the cruel tyrant, she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language: “Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you up, educated and supported you to your present age. I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them.” She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: “What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king’s command. I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses. But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews, will not escape the hands of God.” PSALM PS 17:1BCD, 5-6, 8B AND 15 Response: Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full. Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. My steps have been steadfast in your paths, my feet have not faltered. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. But I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence. GOSPEL LK 19:11-28 While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. Source -https://www.archdioceseofbombay.org/
     
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