Bishops committed to growth and development in young adult ministry

11 Jun, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

The Irish bishops are making a renewed commitment to building an intentional and dynamic young adult ministry within the local Church.  Recognising the unique challenges that young people of faith face in today’s world, the bishops are dedicated to creating a supportive and empowering environment where young adults can thrive spiritually within their local Church.

Bishop Fintan Gavin of Cork and Ross is chair of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development of the Bishops’ Conference, and attended World Youth Day in Lisbon in 2023 (pictured).  Last summer’s global faith celebration provided a profound experience for many Irish young people.  It was a time of spiritual renewal, community building, and deep reflection.

Inspired by this event, youth faith leaders and bishops gathered synodally to discuss the future of youth ministry.  This led to a significant ‘Conversation in the Spirit’ at Knock Shrine in January, where the prompting of the Holy Spirit was strongly felt.  The bishops and youth ministry leaders discerned the need for a continued and focused effort to engage more young people and leaders in this mission. And, as an outworking of that day the bishops Conference will be hosting a conference on International Young Adult Ministry, on 22 June, at Clongowes Wood College SJ in County Kildare.

This youth conference will be a space for listening, learning, and collaborating, with a strong emphasis on the intentional discipleship of Jesus Christ.  Bishops are particularly focused on fostering a deep, personal relationship with Christ among young adults, recognizing this as the cornerstone of a vibrant faith community.  Through sharing tried-and-tested methods as well as exploring innovative approaches, this conference for young adults will provide practical strategies for effective ministry.

The conference is fortunate to have Father Stephen Wang as the keynote speaker.  Father Wang, the developer of the renowned Sycamore Programme, brings a wealth of experience and insight into faith formation and evangelization. The Sycamore Programme has been instrumental in helping countless individuals explore and deepen their faith. It is envisioned that Father Wang’s address will provide invaluable perspectives on engaging young adults and fostering a more intentional approach to building disciples.

Interactive sessions and the use of the Conversation in the Spirit method will offer attendees the chance to engage directly with other leaders, ask questions, pray, worship and share their own ideas.  This collaborative approach ensures that the voices of young people are heard and valued, and their contributions are integral to shaping the future of the ministry.

Bishops are committed to ensuring that this conference is not just a one-time event but a catalyst for ongoing growth and development in young adult ministry.  They envision a Church where young people are not only participants but leaders, actively shaping and enriching the faith community.

For more information about the conference and how to get involved, please contact [email protected]



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