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Archdiocesan youth ministry’s commission to the mission


The Catholic Youth Ministry Commissioning Mass on Saturday 14 March, held at Highgate Parish, was attended by about 100 young people. Photo: Eric Martin.

By Eric Martin

Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) held its annual Commissioning Mass for its new youth leaders, youth ambassadors and student leaders at Sacred Heart Church, Highgate Parish, on 14 March.

Some 100 young people braved the Coronavirus chaos to attend the 9am service, celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, enjoying a time of morning fellowship and hospitality at the catered brunch that followed.

Recalling the enthusiasm and energy that was generated by the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF), Archbishop Costelloe reminded the young people present last Saturday of the shared vision that united them at that event, a vision that could now empower them in their actions and beliefs as leaders in the community.

“Welcome everybody to this very important celebration of Mass this morning, as we gather to, in many ways, remember ACYF and all that it was for us, and all that it can mean for us into the future,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“We want to carry in our hearts and in our prayers today especially, those young people who will be commissioned formerly as youth leaders for our Archdiocese, across our parishes and schools.


Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB was joined by the youth leaders, youth ambassadors and student leaders of the Archdiocese for brunch in Highgate on 14 March. Photo: Eric Martin

“That through their ministry they would help to reveal the face of God to the young people of our Archdiocese.

“And, especially, praying that the fruits of ACYF will continue to be felt right across the Archdiocese – so that we really can become that young Church that we celebrated together just a few months ago.

“So I ask you, will you, youth leaders, youth ambassadors and student leaders, work towards engaging with young people in the light of the Church’s mission?” Archbishop Costelloe inquired of the congregation.

“Will you seek to understand, through dialogue, the culture, challenges and concerns of young people, and foster their engagement with their parish communities?

“Will you strive to be leaders who foster collaboration and unity in your dealing with each other, with schools and with parishes and with all whom you touch in your ministry?” he asked.

Following their acceptance of the Archbishop’s commission, the leaders and ambassadors were blessed “so that they may be renewed in faith, in spirit and in love,” before joining His Grace and the CYM team for a fully cooked brunch, served in the adjacent Sacred Heart Primary School hall.


The CYM Commissioning Breakfast on Saturday 14 March, held at Sacred Heart Primary School in Highgate, was attended by about 100 young people. Photo: Eric Martin.

Special guest presenter Fr George Kolodziej SDS, chaplain of Catholic Education Western Australia, expanded on the theme of the Church’s mission during his presentation at the brunch by drawing clear links between the Church’s call to win souls for God and CYM’s mandate to engage with young people in Perth.

“This is the Great Commission and it is the mission of the Church, it is called evangelising or evangelisation,” Fr George said.

“The Church exists to evangelise: every Catholic Church in the world participates in this mission and carries out in a specific corner of the world.

“So you can say that the specific ministry of the youth ministry in Perth is to go out and make disciples of Western Australia and beyond.”

The youth leaders, youth ambassadors and student leaders also participated in a brainstorming session, discussing the many challenges facing evangelists working with young Australians in 2020, and revisiting the strategies in the CYM toolkit that could be used to overcome them.