By editor - 02 June, 2015
A revamped Diocesan Youth Council was re-launched on Sunday in Knock by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, who was joined by representatives of the Rise of the Roses project.
Addressing those involved in the venture, Archbishop Neary said the evening was about “celebrating experience with newness” as the Tuam Diocesan Youth Council has been in existence since 2008.
He said it had provided many wonderful opportunities for young people to take on an active role in the life of their local parishes and communities through various activities, trips, pilgrimages and projects.
Dr Neary noted that in the last number of months, with a change in membership, came a change of direction for the youth council, and it was thought that a re-launch was the most fitting way to mark the councils great success to date and ensure its momentum going forward.
One of the special guest speakers attending the re-launch was Lisa O’Hare, co-ordinator for the Rise of the Roses project.
Rise of the Roses blossomed from the friendships formed through the Michaela Foundation inspired by the late Michaela McAreavey.
The idea behind the Rise of the Roses project is to encourage young people in Ireland to join a tour of convents for the Year of Consecrated Life.
The tour will complete its journey in Knock on 15 August with everyone invited ranging from the young to the young at heart.
Lisa O’Hare shared her excitement at the prospect of her team and the DYC working together over the next few months to celebrate the lives of so many women of faith in Tuam.
The Diocesan Youth Council members, both experienced and new, were very keen to use the re-launch as an opportunity to share some new and exciting ideas, plans and resources and reassure the various parish representatives present that they have what it takes to support parishes and communities in the area of youth ministry right across the Archdiocese.
A number of the council members spoke about the new projects to be rolled out over the next 12 to 18 months for young people aged 12 -35 years old.
These include the Volunteer at Knock Shrine Programme (VAKS), the Post Confirmation programme and the Youth Pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Kraków.
With the new look DYC Logo in the background, they highlighted how all the information and resources will be made available and accessible via the up to date DYC website and Facebook Page. (www.facebook.com/TuamDYC)
One of the songs sung during the re-launch was written by one of the members of the Rise of the Roses team.
It contains the line, “the pen of my heart is in your hand as you rewrite my story”.
As Siobhán Bradley, Tuam Diocesan Youth Ministry director said, “This line is very fitting for our re-launch, as this is the task of Youth ministry and the task of the DYC going forward.”
“In the age in which we live, it seems to me, one of the greatest challenges we are facing, not simply among the young church but the whole church, is the phenomenon of indifference. People opting out in every age category.”
“When the passion dies for our faith, we have indifference, detachment, and we just walk away. It seems to me however that the antidote to walking away is engagement….the DYC is setting out anew today to ensure that all our young people from across this diocese can continue to be offered opportunities to experience, live, explore and celebrate your faith in meaningful ways.”