Written by Sherry
Saturday, 19 January 2008 08:38
The Archdiocese of Boston is also reorganizing their Youth and Young Adult ministry. Here's the entry from Cardinal Sean's blog (roll down):
We are bringing together the Offices for Youth and Young Adults with Campus Ministry and the Vocations Office. With this new office, the people who work with adolescents and young adults in the archdiocese will have contact with each other. They will be able to support each other, coordinate their efforts to evangelize, form young people in the faith and prepare them for their vocations in life, especially the call to holiness: the call to priesthood, religious life and the call to marriage.
Collaboration. Diocesan offices and initiatives working with each other like we were on the same team. Imagine.
And this note from Fr. Matt Williams, the new Directory of Youth and Young Adult Ministry which raises some challenging points:
"So what’s up with the name:
Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults?
Well, we wanted a name that would energize and excite, as well as capture the vision of what this office will be about. The words “New Evangelization” are proclaimed by our late and great Holy Father, John Paul II, who was drawing from the wisdom of Pope Paul VI as he addressed the challenges facing the mission of the Church. The term “New Evangelization” is meant to be prophetic and revolutionary. Acknowledging that there are so many Catholics and Christians who are Christian in name only, there is a dire need for evangelization to be new in its “ardor, methods and expression” (JPII). It is “not a merely matter of passing on doctrine but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Savior” (JPII). Now that is exciting!!!
So why youth AND young adults in the same office???
Well, Cardinal Seán says it best: “business as usual isn’t working.” Something new is needed! A recent study out of the University of North Carolina researched how effective different denominations have been in passing on the faith to their young. Catholics came in last. If you think of it, most of our efforts to reach out to young people revolve around sacraments: baptism, first reconciliation, first communion, confirmation and marriage. What we fail to do is walk with our young people from one sacrament to the next. Inevitably young people fall through the cracks. Just ask any pastor what percentage of the couples who come to him for marriage in the Church he knows personally. NOT MANY! What is needed is a new vision in which we intentionally organize ministries that accompany our young people through all stages, from early adolescence through adulthood. In this way the Church is actively meeting her young people at these crucial moments in their lives."
As we are seeing in our conversations with leaders around the country and elsewhere, they know that "business as usual isn't working" and this new generation of leaders is very aware that personal, intentional discipleship is the foundation of everything else the Church does.
What was that Bob Dylan classic from the 60's? Oh yeah. "The times, they are a-changing . . .