ST. BONIFACE — For five years, the Youth Ministry co-ordinators of five Seine River Region parishes have been working together to combat their isolation and ensure a renewal of ideas, a model that could inspire other regions.
The co-ordinators of Lorette, La Salle, Sainte-Anne, Steinbach and La Broquerie have made a habit of meeting once a month.
“Being a youth ministry co-ordinator can be pretty lonely because we are often the only ones in our parish and it’s up to us to find our vision and ideas to lead youth on a spiritual pathway,” confided the youth ministry co-ordinator of Notre-Dame de Lorette, Paula Granger. “We always have to be full of energy, creative, and young at heart. It’s hard sometimes!”
“Being able to meet up as a group allows us to share what we are doing in our parishes, share our ideas, and it gives us energy to go back to our parishes and continue to accomplish our mission,” she explained. “Without these round tables, I would never know what’s going on in other parishes in the area.”
The ideas shared can be applied in other parishes, or may even lead to visits from one parish to another, so that the youth may benefit from a wider variety of events. Additionally, the five co-ordinators organize three or four rallies a year in their area in order to bring together all the youth of the parishes.
“The youth want to meet up,” explained Granger. “It helps their own faith grow by seeing how widely it is shared by others.”
On Oct. 17, the Annual Diocesan Youth Rally took place in the Seine Region; its theme was hockey as a metaphor for life. “It was the first time the rally was held outside of St. Boniface Cathedral,” said Granger.
Other than gathering the youth together, it’s an opportunity to share the model of co-operation among youth ministry co-ordinators, which at the moment, is unique to the Seine River on a regional level.
“We have met with co-ordinators from the South Urban English Region that will host the 2016 Diocesan Youth Rally; they came to our co-ordinator meetings,” said Granger. “Next year, they will host the co-ordinators from the 2017 rally area, until our model has been shared everywhere.”
The youth ministry co-ordinators also have the opportunity to attend diocesan-wide meetings two or three times a year.