By Katie Ascough - 15 May, 2020
Derry Diocesan Youth Ministry is going into its seventh week of an online programme which was set up for young people in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry team has had a high level of engagement especially from the young people who are continuing to do their Pope John Paul II Awards at this time; weekly tasks go towards the Award.
All young people are invited to engage with the daily prayer and reflections hosted on the Derry Youth social media platforms. An array of suggestions for interesting tasks are also provided, including arts and crafts, going for walks, letter writing, sharing a favourite scripture quote, writing in a journal, finding something specific at home, doing a kind act for another, and of course taking selfies and videos of all of these activities, to share and connect with each other.
During the seven weeks the themes have varied from “The Road to Calvary” during Holy Week in which students participated in a virtual holy hour on Holy Thursday, to a social media “takeover” by Mary’s Meals, to last week’s theme on Marian Pilgrimage sites in which young people led a live Facebook performance of the story of Lourdes. Bishop of Derry, Bishop Donal McKeown, has also been heavily featured with a video reflection on a piece of Scripture every Saturday.
The online programme has kept an open dialogue between the Derry Youth ministry team and the young people of Derry Diocese and has helped many young people to continue with their Pope John Paul II Award during the pandemic. The youth team in Derry Diocese would like to continue the online programme after the summer and keep the connection made over the past few weeks.