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Trócaire’s JustFaith Programme
It’s new, it’s different and it will be a challenge but we’re looking forward to it!
If Catholic Social Teaching is referred to as the Church’s best kept secret then why keep it that way? Many parishes and groups are beginning to spread the word and reach out to young and older in their community writes Hannah Evans, church officer, Trócaire.
The recent publication of Share the Good News the National Directory of Catechesis speaks to us of the ways in which we can promote the message of Christ in today’s modern society. The Directory points us in many directions at Parish and Diocese level where Evangelisation can take place and where the world of God can flourish. Section C of the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland, ‘Sharing the Good News’ refers to the importance of continued faith development throughout our lives. Adult Faith Development, Sharing our Faith with the Young and Reaching out in Christ’s Love to All are the three pillars of this journey and present new opportunities for our faith.
Trócaire has developed two pastoral programmes in the context of Share the Good News which are resources for parishes looking to explore their own faith or share their faith with young people in their community through the lenses of Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic Social Teaching is an opportunity for people to look at our world in a new way i.e. our interdependence and our call to know and to love others as we are known and loved by God.
‘Our programme recognises that all Christian action if it is to be Gospel inspired, must be rooted in an ever deepening relationship with Christ. For this reason, Trócaire’s programme is an opportunity to build on the young person’s experiences of prayer and perhaps to introduce them to new types of prayer. Each of the six sessions includes a “Take Action” session which draws the group out into the parish or the wider community. The programme encourages participants to “see God in all things” and connect their faith with the reality of their lives.’
Share the Good News reflects that ‘ongoing faith development for young people in particular is a “constant challenge” but many parishes and agencies are embracing this challenge’.
Regina McCarrick coordinates the St Sylvester’s and Yellow Walls youth programme, MYYAM in St Sylvester’s parish, Malahide, north Dublin and says the group are looking forward to bringing Trócaire’s Young Adult programme JustFaith to life this year in their community. MYYAM was born out of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney Australia and the group reaches out to parishioners aged 18-35. ‘In establishing the group we were guided by the teachings of Rev John C. Cusick, director of the Young Adult Ministry Office in the Archdiocese of Chicago so we have based the group on the pillars of social, spiritual and service, as set out by Rev Cusick’ according to Regina. This has given the group a broad and appealing scope through which to contribute to the parish.
Regina and the group became aware of Trócaire’s JustFaith Programme earlier this summer as groups prepared for this year’s World Youth Day in Rio, Brazil. ‘JustFaith ticks a lot of boxes for us because it speaks to the social, service and spiritual pillars of our group’ says Regina.
JustFaith has been designed to meet the needs of parishes and groups who are looking for a focus for their group, a focus that appeals to young people and keeps them engaged. While ‘Share the Good News’ highlights the need to communicate with young people in appropriate language and integrate faith with the reality of their lives, a significant proportion of JustFaith uses social media and online tools; areas that are appealing and comfortable for young people these days.
According to Regina JustFaith covers a range of topics that appeal to a younger audience and this is one of the main reasons they have decided to bring JustFaith into their group. ‘Trócaire’s programme addresses issues such as climate change, which is an area that is of real interest to young people. We hope to learn a lot and also link what we’ve learned to the spiritual aspects of the group. JustFaith is unique and it’s a challenging and there’s a lot of interest within the group for something new.’
‘We hope this will be a new experience for the group and that it will give us an opportunity to reach out to people in the parish who don’t feel as connected to the spiritual side of our group but are looking for a way of expressing their faith in a different kind of way. It is a gentle introduction for people to St Sylvester’s youth programme and the work that we do‘ concluded Regina.
‘It’s new, it’s different and it will be a challenge but we’re looking forward to learning about what’s happening outside of our own little zone here in Ireland.’
Intercom is a pastoral and liturgical resource magazine published by Veritas, an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops Commission on Communications.
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