By Ann Marie Foley - 23 October, 2015
The Diocese of Kerry hopes to help young people find a sense of ‘belonging’ in parishes with its new youth initiative, Ógra Beo.
Bishop Ray Browne, with the help of the Diocesan Pastoral Team and young people of the diocese launched Ógra Beo at the weekend and the first training workshop for adult leaders was last night (Thursday 22 October) in Killarney.
“Ógra Beo is an opportunity to build on the strengths we already have in our diocese. We have many adults trained in youth ministry and we have a strong tradition of youth clubs in our parishes. It seeks to combine lively youth activities with reflection on God and the meaning of life,” said Bishop Ray Browne.
“Ógra Beo is a positive initiative that provides a space for practical engagement in service to the community. May it further enrich activities for youth throughout the diocese. I encourage all our parishes and youth to say a definite yes to it,” he added wishing them every success and blessing.
The initiative was prompted by the words of Pope Francis “young people are the windows through which the future enters the world. This means that we have to create the material and spiritual conditions for their full development”.
The organisers want to help create a sense of welcome and belonging for young people in parishes.
They also hope it will enhance the prayer and worship for young people, and provide opportunities for them to understand and live their faith and encourage them to reach out to people who are in need both locally and globally.
“The main aim is to offer something to young people so they can be active in the parish. The young people themselves have identified that it is very difficult to be connected or involved in the parish,” Bernie McCaffrey, Ógra Beo Co-Ordinator, told CatholicIreland.net.
“Visiting parishes a key question is always – How can we get young people involved? I am delighted to have Ogra Beo as response to this need. Ogra Beo is a programme specially for teenagers,” she added.
“It gives them the opportunity to engage with the church and with the parish and to develop their relationship with God. It is designed with young people in mind. We need adults to give this time and energy and it will show wonderful result.”
The Ógra Beo is for people already involved in youth ministry, and Kerry has around 40 people trained in the diocese.
It is also for parishes without trained youth ministry adults who can go to workshops to familiarise them Ógra Beo pack.
The Ógra Beo initiative involves young people’s workshops on: getting involved in the parish, learning to work as a team, developing leadership skills, prayer and reflection, meeting friends and having fun.
Having participated in these workshops young people will be enabled to identify and carry out an action in response to a need in the local parish.
The action could involve social justice or a parish need – it will be up to the young people in each parish group to decide how they want to get involved according to Bernie McCaffrey.
On completion of the Ógra Beo programme parishes will acknowledge and celebrate the commitment and gifts of young people.
Ógra Beo is for young people of post-primary age. It will be coordinated by the Diocesan Pastoral Team and will provide training and a Resource Pack for adult leaders in local parishes.
Safeguarding Children policies and practices will be fully integrated into the delivery of this programme.
For further details: email: [email protected]