Year of Youth Resource Book a valuable tool for engagement
By Mary Morrell | Correspondent
A unique resource now available from the Diocese will serve as a valuable tool for navigating the diocesan-sponsored Year of Youth successfully.
On June 12, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., decreed a Year of Youth in the Diocese of Trenton, beginning July 1, 2018, and closing on the Feast of St. Aloysius, patron saint for Catholic youth, June 21, 2019. Though some events took place over the summer, the year officially kicks off Oct. 14 with a festival and talent show in St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin, a worship site of Barnegat’s St. Mary Parish.
The Year of Youth Resource Book, designed by the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries as a way to help prepare for the yearlong celebration of youth in parishes and schools, was distributed over the summer to pastors, Catholic school principals, directors of religious education, youth and young adult ministers and campus ministers.
This engaging resource serves to enable various communities to implement the Year of Youth guided by the goals set forth by the decree: to increase the active engagement of young Catholics in a relationship with Jesus; to celebrate their gifts and increase their opportunities to make a difference; to cultivate a more positive attitude among young adult Catholic as they live and witness their faith, and to inspire parishes to welcome and encourage young people into parish life.
“The Year of Youth should not be viewed as a program, but as a catalyst to increase engagement of young people in our Church that will last for years to come,” Dan Waddington, the department’s director, writes in the book’s opening message.
More than just a listing of diocesan events for youth, young adults, and even formation opportunities for adults, as well as highlights of the Year of Youth, the resource book provides prayers, petitions, links for additional resources such as banners and logos, and reasons why a celebration of youth is so essential for the Church.
For example, in the section, “Striving for Holiness Together,” the emphasis is on invitation: “Young people feeling connected in community is one of the most important building blocks that leads them into a deeper relationship with the Church, and fosters an invitation to grow in their faith. Young people want to be together, feel accepted, and know that they belong. They want to have a purpose and know they are valued and needed in the larger community. They also need to know there is opportunity to share their gifts in a meaningful way. Helping our young people to feel connected to our community and to each other can be the first step in strengthening their connection to Jesus.”
To download the Year of Youth Resource Book, visit www.dioceseoftrenton.org/www.dioceseoftrenton.org/yearofyouth.