Called to a Noble Adventure – A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry in England and Wales to guide youth ministry development has been published. It is the product of consultation with youth workers and other professionals and volunteers who work with young people prepared by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) on behalf of the Department of Catechesis and Evangelisation of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Its launch was included as part of CYMFed's Members' Meeting, which took place at the Salford Diocesan Centre last week (13th June 2012). CYMFed is a network of the principal youth officers of dioceses, religious orders, movements and other organisations that provides leadership, conferences, resources and programmes for enhancing Catholic youth ministry at every level of the Church.
Called to a Noble Adventure is not a new programme or service strategy. It is primarily about our relationship with young people. It is a Vision for Youth Ministry in England and Wales, built on a foundation of partnership, collaboration, and communication, as well as a solid commitment to serving our young people. As a common vision it provides a shared language for talking about, planning for and implementing a vibrant youth ministry that will engage, inspire and empower young people for discipleship and active participation in the community.
Four interdependent and equally important goals guide the Church's ministry with adolescents. We want to try and ensure that our young people feel accompanied, that they feel that the rest of the Church is walking alongside them and vice-versa. They need to hear a positive call to live as disciples of Jesus Christ and be rooted in the Church. We need to enable them to share as fully as they can in the life of the Church, however demanding that might be, and finally we ask young people to go out as prophetic witnesses and inviting the Church and world to be renewed in faith, hope and love.
These goals state what it means for the Catholic community to respond to the needs of young people and to involve young people in sharing their unique gifts with the larger community. They express the Church's focus for ministry with adolescents, while encouraging local creativity in developing the programmes, activities, and strategies to reach these goals.
Called to a Noble Adventure is a call to make ministry with adolescents a concern for the entire Church community. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II have emphasised repeatedly the importance of young people and ministry with them. This document encourages our church communities to provide good opportunities and supportive relationships. It sets a challenge to us all to deliver on that vision.
Fr David O'Malley SDB, Vice Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the UK and Rector of Savio House Youth Retreat Centre in Cheshire, says "Called to a Noble Adventure is more than a document – it is an inspirational text that ties concern for young people into the paschal mystery at the heart of the church. Its vision penetrates and connects the activity of a youth minister in a parish with the eternal reach of the Gospel and with the presence of God. It gives parents, teachers, catechists and youth ministers new reasons for living and hoping"