Pope Francis has Message for Europe's Religous Orders

The Australian Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has a proud tradition of meeting the needs of young people through contact with them in our Parishes, Colleges, Rosies and other youth ministries. Now, much of that tradition has been documented in a new book by Fr Christian FINI, entitled, Empowering Young People.

From the very birth of the Congregation, ministry to young people has been a priority. St. Eugene himself, as a newly ordained priest, recognised the need to pay particular attention to young people in his own home town of Aix.

The young people around us are a gift of the church, not just as the keepers of our beliefs and traditions, but also our calling to live the values of the gospels. Yet reaching the hearts and minds of these people and keeping them engaged and involved is not always easy. Empowering Young People will ultimately challenge every Catholic community to welcome young people and to work with them so that they will shape the community and claim it as their own, for the present and for the future.

The invitation to actively participate is the greatest gift that we can offer young people, together with a healthy understanding of what a human being is and a care for that human being, a healthy place where they encounter Jesus Christ. In this new book, we are told that the challenge of every parish community is to find ways to engage young people and to give them a community of which they can be a part.

It examines and guides those charged with attracting and keeping young people involved in our great Catholic communities, education system and parishes. It includes topics such as developing a vision and planning for youth ministry as a part of living out our faith. There are also useful ideas and tips to encourage involvement and to get the parish or school council’s support; there is useful information on how to actively involve young people in the Eucharist, retreats or shared experiences and ultimately give them a sense of their own mission in the world.

Complete with hints, activities and other great suggestions, as well as links to good resources and online material, this book is ideal for anyone working with young people, whether in a school, parish or other community outreach program which just starting out or well established.

According to our Founder, our presence among youth is crucial for evangelization. The widespread poverty of today’s youth is not just a question of material deprivation, but is also systemic (unemployment, drugs and addictions, manipulation, sexual exploitation, child labour, absence of hope for the future, broken families, HIV & AIDS, etc.). Despite this, we believe that youth have enormous capacity to transform the situation through their embodiment of Gospel values, expressed in their generosity, commitment to face challenges, openness to internationality, thirst for spirituality, sense of justice, readiness for change, and much more.


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