Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

Prayer for Youth

Come Holy Spirit of this Great Southland
Inspire our entire faith community,
As we prayerfully discern new horizons for spreading joy
in the lives and communities of the People of God.
Come Holy Spirit of Youth
Fill the hearts of young people with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Enliven our community with the creativity, energy and joy of youth.
Guide us together, as we strive to offer God’s mercy to those who feel abandoned or outcast.
Come Holy Spirit of Faith
Empower our community to be courageous.
Unite your people as witnesses of love.
Walk with us, as we blaze new trails of discipleship,
Accompanying young people as we renew the Church together. 
Come Holy Spirit of Vocation
Stir within young people an awareness of God’s call.
Reveal to us the graces of young people.
Guide us all, in finding our place and raising our voices
To build a civilisation of love.  

Please don't give up Social Media for Lent

Every Lent, I can count on a large number of my Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and fellow Snapchatters to fall silent for 40 days. Some announce their departure on Fat Tuesday, but most just log off unceremoniously and disappear. I get the rationale behind giving up social media for Lent. For many of us, our endless news feed scrolling represents a large consumption of time that could probably be better spent. Thus, for a certain age demographic, it seems to have replaced “giving up chocolate” as the default Lenten observance. But, I’m begging you, please don’t delete your apps this Lent. Instead, use your social media presence as a Lenten observance in itself, as a means of evangelization, and to aid in your own personal spiritual growth. Here are some suggestions that can help you make social media platforms an integral part of this coming Lent:

Share your own Lenten Journey
From Ash Wednesday to the Easter Vigil and a whole lot of Lent in between, so much of our Catholic tradition is on display like it is at no other time during the year. Social media is a great avenue to share our traditions with friends that may be unfamiliar with the faith. For example, in my home parish of St John / St Thomas Aquinas of East Lansing, Michigan, we have a candlelit Eucharistic procession between our two Churches that goes right down MSU’s sorority row on the evening of Holy Thursday. That is not something you see everyday! Social media can also serve as inspiration to those fellow Catholics that have been struggling with their own belief and practice in recent times.

Support your Catholic friends
To the above point, it can be intimidating to share your faith among many of your friends and followers who are not Catholic. Make it a point then to support your Catholic friends who are sharing their Lenten activities via social media. Retweet, like, share, comment on, or simply read the postings of your fellow Catholics that are accompanying you on this pilgrimage to Easter.

Use social media as an invitation
I have found that some friends may not take it upon themselves to initiate an act of charity, or attend a Church event, but they’ll join me if I invite them. Whatever extra things you are doing for Lent, invite your friends along. Whenever I donate blood, I always invite my online friends to do the same. Sometimes it’s just that little nudge of a Facebook post that sparks people’s interest. Whether you are volunteering with a charity, attending the parish fish fry, praying the Stations of the Cross, or going to an extra weekday Mass, see who else might want to come with you.

Clean your digital house
Over time, it’s inevitable that we accumulate voices in our social media feeds that take us further from Christ rather than closer. For me, it’s the classic car and hot rod sites that over time share more pictures of scantily clad women than vehicles. Or its the news commentators that exploit their platform to sow division and stir up controversy. Use this season of preparation to take a critical look at all of the content you scroll past on any given day, and unfollow, unfriend, or unlike any that are not a great influence in your life.

Follow your favorite Catholic accounts
Chances are, your favorite Catholic social media accounts have a lot of Lenten inspiration to go around! At Busted Halo, we have a lot planned for Lent that we don’t want you to miss out on. We will once again be running our popular InstaLent Photo Challenge and invite you to share your creative photos and reflections. Our #DailyJolts continue throughout Lent, and we’ll offer many other reflections, articles, and opportunities to learn about Catholic Lent traditions. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Hopefully the above gives you a few points that you can put in to practice as we enter this Lenten season. I’m looking forward to accompanying you on this journey online.

John Oliva  (Busted Halo)

Synod on the Youth has concluded, but will continue at the local level.

The Synod assembly on young people concluded at the Vatican on Sunday Oct. 28 with a letter addressed to the young people of the world appealing to them to get involved in both the Church and society that “urgently needs your enthusiasm. [Watch the video above]

”It is a brief exhortation drawing on the final highly consensual document adopted the evening before by the bishops at the end of three and a half weeks discussion.
However, as Pope Francis noted in an improvised speech after the vote, it was not primarily directed to “people outside.” 
“We are the people to whom the document is addressed,” he insisted.
In this sense, Pope Francis sought to remind the Synod Fathers of their responsibilities and their key roles in transmitting the Synodal experience to their local churches.
He also sought to shift the focus from a document that some will regard as disappointing and that only weakly reflects the fierceness of some points of debate.
While all 167 paragraphs of the 55-page document were approved by a two-thirds majority, several articles nevertheless raised objections of a significant number of bishops.
Several articles were subject to greater resistance. 
This was the case, for example, with a sentence stating that “sexual morality is frequently the cause of incomprehension and distancing from the Church, which is often perceived as a space of judgment and condemnation,” even though this was pointed out by young people themselves.
Similarly, with respect to women’s participation in the Church, which the document says is a “matter of justice” and where the Synod recommends creating “spaces in the decision-making process, particularly when they do not specifically involve ministerial responsibilities.
”However, it was the issue of welcoming homosexuals in the Church that aroused most resistance with 65 votes against. This was so despite the fact that the text did no more than reject “all discrimination or violence on a sexual basis” and recommended the promotion and development of “paths for the accompaniment in the faith of homosexual persons."
Up to the local Churches to bring the Synod alive. 
Looking beyond these contentious issues, the final document adopts many insights expressed during the Synod assembly.
It points to the need for a presence in the digital world and for involving young people more broadly in the decision-making processes of the Church, including at the Vatican, as well as encouraging their involvement in politics, the economy and for justice.
As the document emphasizes, it is now up to bishops’ conferences and dioceses to bring the Synod process alive.
Following the “preparatory phase” and the “celebratory phase” of the last three weeks, it will now enter its “implementation phase,” which will also need to be “synodal.”
Difficult to implement a "Synodal Church" 
”However, even this new form of living the Church was not welcomed unanimously. Although no global institution other than the Catholic Church has ever offered more than three weeks to listening to young people, the exercise was not achieved without some difficulty.
The very method of the Synod was criticized. The working document was presented, one bishop lamented, as an “almost sacred document,” with participants needing time to develop their own process of reflection.
The aim of the Synod organizers was clearly to encourage the bishops not to exclude the preparatory phase, particularly the responses of young people.
But it also illustrated a broader difficulty on the part of the bishops to live out the “Synodal Church” that Pope Francis has called for and to enter into a logic closer to that of the chapter meetings of religious congregations.
In addition to this problem, there was also the great diversity of situations among young people around the world, although this was sometimes overplayed by some bishops to avoid directly tackling certain issues.
The sexual abuse issue also overshadowed the whole discussion with a significant number of bishops, particularly from Africa, believing that it had been given an exaggerated place at this Synod assembly whereas it was not a major issue facing them.
To avoid such blockages, several bishops are now pleading for continental synods and for debate closer to the grassroots.That is precisely what will occur next year at the Vatican with the special Synod assembly on Amazonia.

Why we still need a Synod on Youth.

Katie Prejean McGrady was a U.S. delegate sent by the U.S.C.C.B. to the Vatican’s pre-synod gathering of young people. She is a Catholic speaker and the author of Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus. You can read her thoughts on why we still need to have this Synod on Youth here.

Australian youth auditor announced for Vatican Synod

Twenty-two-year-old Sydneysider Sebastian Duhau will soon be winging his way to the Vatican as Australia’s youth auditor at the upcoming General Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.

Mr Duhau, from the Diocese of Parramatta, was nominated and accepted to participate in the General Synod itself, along with young people and lay Catholics from more than 40 countries, according to an official list of participants released by the Vatican on Saturday.He will participate in small group discussions and deliberations and give a four-minute speech on issues affecting youth today.

The Catholic Church in Australia has sent two young women – Ashleigh Green (Broken Bay Diocese) and Angela Markas (Chaldean Diocese) – to previous gatherings leading up to the Synod.

The Australian bishops who will be attending the October 3 to 28 Synod in Rome include Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli, who was personally selected by Pope Francis, and two Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) delegates: Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI.

Malcolm Hart, director of the ACBC’s Office for Youth, said Mr Duhau’s experience in youth ministry and leadership in parish, diocese, religious order and education settings would give him a comprehensive set of experiences to draw upon during the Synod.

“His current study in education and theology, together with the formative experiences in De La Salle ministries, provide reflective and prayer practices that will inform his participation through this important experience,” Mr Hart said.

The retreat and programs coordinator for Lasallian Mission Services said he is excited about the opportunity.

“I see one of the key concerns of young people is being heard and being listened to,” Mr Duhau said.

“Young people feel so many adults talk at them. They need to be heard more and young people need to have a voice and a say in what’s going on in the wider community and Church.”

Mr Duhau said there was a wide range of topics being covered at the Synod and he was particularly interested in talking about vocations.

“There’s such a wide range of topics at the Synod and I could imagine myself talking about so many of those things,” he said.

“But if I was to pick one thing right now, I would talk about vocation – not just in the traditional Church sense, but in the broader sense of the word. Vocation is being called to what God wants you to do. In all vocations you can live out your faith.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing back all the experiences and being able to talk about this to young people.”

Mr Duhau’s appointment follows the release of results from the largest survey of young Catholics in Australia. Young people said they are concerned about: mental health, questions around identity, loneliness, relationships and friendships, the direction of society, politics and the Church, and living out their faith in the secular world.

The survey was initiated by the ACBC and completed by more than 15,000 people aged 16 to 29 as part of Australian preparations for the Synod.
Sept 17, 2018 ACBC Media Blog. 
For more information about Sebastian, click here

Year of Youth 2018

“We invite Catholics in Australia to celebrate a Year of Youth,  
from the beginning of Advent 2017 to the end of 2018"
 The Melbourne Archdiocese has begun planning for the Year of Youth, and an enthused group gathered on Oct 21, 2017 in Melbourne to focus on readying parishes for an energised year that promises to inspire and engage Australia's youth.  Melbourne Catholic has a fuller report of the day.
The Archdiocesan Office for Youth (AOY) has developed a resource to assist parishes to break open the theme of the Year of Youth, and to help them begin to plan how they can mark the Year of Youth at the local level. The Resource - The Year of Youth 2018 - can be found here.
It is a sad admission that Nazareth Parish does not have a Youth Group of any description but that is not to say there is no desire for one. If any young person, or any parent, would be interested in having some dialogue about the needs of our youth, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US and make your concerns known.  

Pope Francis wants to hear from you!

 Calling young people around the world
to be part of an international conversation.
The purpose of the Pre-Synodal Meeting, which took place in Rome from 19 to 24 March 2018, was to provide the opportunity for young people to produce a document, which expressed their view on the state of things, their ideas, their feelings and their recommendations, to be presented to the Synodal Fathers, who will meet in October 2018 to treat the topic:Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. About 300 young people participated in this meeting woth Pope Francis, representing young people from the 5 continents.  The young representatives provided insight into the lives of young people across the globe, their challenges and hopes for the world. They also provided recommendations for the Synod of Bishops in October.
Sacred sights: Australian delegates (from left) Stephanie Santos, Angela Markas, and Lachlan Tomkins visit the Sistine Chapel.
Stephanie, Angela and Lachlan were three of the four Australians who joined delegates in the preparation of a 16-page document for the Synod of Bishops in October. The document, which also drew on 15,000 online submissions, is focused on how to better incorporate young people into the Church. 
Angela Markas, addressed the Pre Synod meeting on the first day. Watch her presentation below or 
read it here.
The representatives also produced a document (which included the input of over 15,000 young people on Facebook). Click here to read the document.

"I was fuzzy and was silent" - Bishop Mark Edwards

It is not often that we see or hear a Bishop admitting that he is not sure about something! So it is very refreshing to read of Bishop Mark Edwards quandry in relation to the goals for the year of Youth. Read on and see what you think of his reflections.  {Yes we do have permission to publish these.]
"At the recent Archdiocesan Council of Priests (ACOP0 meeting, one of the priests mentioned that the goals for the Year of Youth were not clear to him. I was fuzzy on them myself and was silent. I have since researched and worked on understanding the goals.

There are four goals set out:

1. That Anointed and Sent  be (re)read by bishops, priests, pastoral councils, school leadership and youth leaders and discussed with a view to what they can do to implement it.

My reflection: This wonderful resource is relatively unknown even in the youth ministry world. Anointed and Sent focuses on “Why?” we engage in ministry with young people more than “How?”, offering a context for existing youth ministries and a rationale for establishing new ones. Eight areas that need to be focussed on in any ministry to young people are also addressed and these offer a check list to those supporting youth ministry to ensure that their work is leads to the holistic development of maturing disciples. I believe this document is also applicable to schools.
I will ask for the Curia to read this before a Curia meeting and discuss our reflections at the Curia meeting as a way of giving example to the Archdiocese.

2. Authentic and personal engagement by Church leaders in the challenges and successes in young people’s lives.

My reflection: This goal calls on all leaders to try to engage with young people: priests, teachers, people who work in CAM, parish council members and finance council members as well as bishops. The call is for these discussions to be (appropriately) personal and vulnerable. I picture a parish priest having dinner with perhaps eight young people, or some members of a finance council coming to a (youth group?) meeting to let young people to share their concerns and ask questions. I think that in all such meetings we need to do lots more listening than talking. For example, if a difficult topic is raised, to ask “Why do you ask that?”. In this way, we will be able to affirm the good that these questions are coming out of.

3. Acknowledging the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of young people and encouraging young people to act upon the impulse of the Holy Spirit.

My reflection: This will be (relatively) easy if we have listened deeply to young people by asking several questions on the same topic. There is a lot of good in our young people (and our culture): the desire for equality, for justice, for freedom and for love. We can easily affirm these – and then we can challenge our young people to live these truly by showing them the beauty of the Catholic understanding of true freedom, equality, love.

4. Ensuring a safe environment.

My reflection: This fits in very well with our current Archdiocesan wide drive to provide a safe place (physically, emotionally, spiritually) for our young and vulnerable. It asks us to internalise the Child Safe Training we received recently and to help make it a part of the culture of the Church.

If the goals of the YoY were not clear to members of ACOP and were not clear to me, I guess that there are a lot of other people in the Archdiocese who do not know what they are. I ask you to help others to encounter and understand these four goals."

Is there any possiblity that our parish could instigate some discussions?...or perhaps take up one point and work hard to inculturate it within our commnity life???