Hundreds of young people and young adults were at World Youth Day @ Home, back in June. We were pleased to welcome some very exciting guests, including David Wells, RISE Theatre, Fr.Frankie Mulgrew, CJM, John Pridmore, Sarah Kroger, Archbishop Peter Comensoli and Matt Maher.
Although heavy rain persisted for most of the weekend, there was a fantastic festival feel throughout: a hog roast and great live music got the party going on Saturday evening, and throughout the weekend, people were inspired by what they heard.
Here are some thoughts from young people who attended:
"There was fantastic input: really inspiring,and it enabled me to make a step in my life that I had not had the courage to do. Matt Maher enabled a freedom in worship that really hit deep."
"There was a great variety of speakers who all gave really inspirational talks that left us with something to reflect on and discuss over the weekend. The music was incredible and was a good time for reflection. All the performances from RISE theatre linked really well with the themes that were discussed in some of the talks."
You can see all of the photos from the weekend here. A big thank you to the guys from Shrewsbury Youth Mission Team for sharing these with us!
Do you have young people and youth leaders in your communities doing amazing things? Do you think that they deserve some recognition, encouragement and even an award for all they are doing? Then consider nominating them for the Celebrating Young People Award!
The awards see hundreds of young people nominated in six categories, each celebrating a different aspect of Catholic Social Teaching lived out in social action. One young person will also receive the Pope Francis Award, presented by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
If you think about your young people for just a moment, I am sure you can identify many who we should celebrate. Previous award recipients include young careers, climate change activists, a student challenging bullying and a mental health campaigner. It is quick and easy to nominate (and there are lots of resources online)-visit https://millionminutes.org/awards.
Deadline for nominations is 24 May 2019.
A Theology of the Body Retreat for Young Adults
This July there is a fab opportunity to immerse ourselves in St Pope John Paul II's writings, Theology of the Body. Helping us understand what it is to be human and exploring what life giving relationships look like.
This retreat is a collaboration between the Shrine and Dumb Ox Ministries, an American based ministry specialising in sharing the teaching of Theology of the Body.
The retreat is taking place from Saturday July 6th - Thursday July 11th 2019 and the total cost is £400. (£350 early bird prices available until May 3rd) It is open to all young people aged 18-35 and will take place at the Shrine in Walsingham.
The organisers say, "At ECHO, we will immerse ourselves in, unpack, and explore the themes of prayer, our identity, and our mission to love. We are all created to be in personal relationship with God, and each of us are created as a unique, unrepeatable man or woman with a vocation to love like God. At ECHO, we probe into questions like: What does it mean to be a man or woman? What does it mean to be a son/daughter, brother/sister, husband/wife, father/mother? What does it mean to really love like GOD? What does it mean to have authentic, pure, life-giving relationships? How can being single, dating, religious life, marriage become a life-giving experience? And...so much more!"
For more information or to book your place check out the website here!
One of the biggest gatherings of our Diocesan family each year, is the annual Pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Hednesford in Staffordshire. This year is it's 50th anniversary and it promises to be a great day!
On Sunday 7th July, older and younger people from across the Archdiocese are openly invited to come and celebrate the day. The day starts at 12.00 Midday and ends with Mass at 4.00pm.
It is especially a great opportunity to catch up with the friends that you may have travelled to Lourdes with in the past
Staffordshire schools are also gathering for a Vigil and overnight stay from the Saturday. For more details contact David.
There are always so many great events for young people, both in our Diocese and beyond. Here at BCYS we think it is really important to look back, to share the memories and fun that we had and to see how we have grown closer to Christ. On this page you will find links to the latest events, with photos, footage, feedback and thoughts on what we did. You can read about Fearless, Flame and Mission @ Home.
A couple of weeks ago 84 Young People and Young Leaders had a Fearless adventure at Alton Castle. The weekend started with various activities that explored Fearless heroes from the Old Testament, (teams faced ‘The Lion’s Den’, took down a giant with a giant slingshot, and stepped out in faith on the blind obstacle course. On Saturday morning Young People conquered their fears on various outdoor activities whilst the Young Leaders completed leadership masterclasses, learning practical skills to equip them to lead. One afternoon of adventure later, the group celebrated Mass together, before taking a fear-conquering tour through the history of Alton and finishing the day in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Young people reported being refreshed in their faith and described encountering God in a new way. One young man who was undecided about whether to be Confirmed came out of the church that night, determined to prepare for Confirmation.
On Sunday there was time for more outdoor adventure before a look back at the weekend with the help of our drone! Video highlights of the weekend will be released very shortly. Stay tuned to our social media accounts to catch it!
On Saturday 2nd March, 250 Young people joined over 8000 other young people at the SSE Arena Wembley for Flame '19. It proved to be an incredible day with music from Guvna B and Tim Hughes as well as talks from Robert Madu, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, Girl got Faith's Emma Borquaye to name a few. With the theme #significance, this day proved as an invaluable reminder to those who attended just how important and vital God's plan for their life is for them. Take a look below at some of the things fed back to us by those who attended on the day.
"Some of the talks related to my own life so much it was embarrassing. I sort of sunk down in my chair when [Robert Madu] was speaking. But I just realised, it's important to focus on who I am meant to be rather than focusing on other people all the time. It was so good to hear him say that. He was brilliant." - Mary aged 15.
"As a priest, it was truly remarkable for me to see 8,000 people coming together to praise God and hear some truly inspiring talks and to sing for God's greater glory. It was so good to hear about how all of our lives have significance and what that means in terms of God's greater plan for our lives. I can't wait to share what I've heard today with my parishioners especially with the young people." - Fr. David, St. Patrick's Wolverhampton.
"Flame 2019 was a great experience, it was far beyond my expectations. One thing that I'll remember is just remember to run the race before you. Don't worry about comparison all the time." - Charles aged 19.
Current vacancies at Alton Castle
Have you ever thought about taking a gap year on the Mission Team at Alton Castle and Soli Centre for Youth Ministry? If you don't like the sound of
then it's probably not for you. And you probably won't want to click here for more information.
Lay Chaplaincy Vacancies
Three Lay Chaplain's posts are being advertised in schools in the Diocese at the moment: Blessed William Howard in Stafford, St. John Fisher in Newcastle under Lyme and St. Thomas More in Nuneaton.
Click on the adverts below to go through to the post on the schools' own websites.
Happy Ss. Cyril and Methodius day! Erm, isn’t this a post about St. Valentine? Well, it is, but we’ve got to begin by saying that it’s not actually St. Valentine’s feast day today! What? Wait a minute! Is this one of those weird Mandela Effect things?!
Well no. You see, we used to celebrate St. Valentine’s day on the 14th February, before the Second Vatican Council.
But we don’t know a great deal about St. Valentine, which is perhaps why the feast became a local, rather than a universal, feast. In fact there are not one, but two, third Century and martyrs called Valentine: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Both of these early saints were buried on the Via Flaminia in Rome. To make things more confusing, there is a third Valentine, martyred somewhere in Africa, who is mentioned in some texts, and he is also remembered on the 14th February!
And we can’t be sure about much more than that! The stories that later were later passed down about the Valentines depict brave men who challenged the hegemony of the pagan Roman Empire in order to tell people about Jesus.
There are lots of churches dedicated to St. Valentine, and lots of places that venerate relics of St. Valentine.
But did you know that one of those places is the Birmingham Oratory?!
When Blessed John Henry Newman founded the Oratory, the Pope gave Newman the remains of St. Valentine. Blessed John Henry Newman had some difficulty getting the relics through customs. Officials in Verona thought he should pay a duty! They recorded the remains as ‘a mummy’ and they are now enshrined at a side altar near the pulpit in the Oratory. The pope, Blessed Pius IX, also gave permission for the Oratory to celebrate St. Valentine’s feast on 21st February.
So folks, wish your loved ones a happy Ss. Cryil and Methodius Day today: You’ve actually got until this time next week to get a St. Valentine’s Day card. And why not take a moment to remember the real meaning of St. Valentine’s day? Although we know very little about those early martyrs, they gave their lives to tell the world of a love divine, all loves excelling.
On 22nd - 23rd June, It's a Knockout takes places, encouraging parishes and schools to enter teams of young people for friendly competition in a series of challenging and crazy games!
It enables parishes to come together and celebrate their faith!
Fun, Camping, Bonfire, BBQ, Mass, Trophies, Prayer, Music and Laughter.
A highlight in many youth group and school chaplaincy calendars! Perhaps this event could be a catalyst for beginning youth ministry in your parish or a chance for existing groups to invite their friends
Teams must be a minimum of six young people. There is no maximum number per team.
Each team must be supervised by a DBS CHECKED youth leader.
Tents can be put up Friday evening or prior to registration on Saturday.
10:00 First game begins
16:45 Games finish
This will be followed by Mass Awards, BBQ and Bonfire Entertainments
Night Prayer 10pm
09:00 Sunday Morning Prayer
10:00 Players take part in a variety of team & Individually scored games covering the site using skill, ability and brain power. Big Money prizes!
12:00 The site will be cleared and departures set
What is the Cost?
Camping £28 per person
Saturday day event only £22 per person
This year at an additional cost Pods are available to hire! £55 per Pod (raised floor, carpeted and insulated) Sleep 4-6 Book a pod early so you do not miss out!
How do we book a Team?
You will then be able to download your booking form, consent form and info pack.
How do we pay
A £50 deposit payment for each team is required to book a team
Please send all payment to Maria Bracken, Don Bosco House, Coventry Road, Coleshill B46 3EA.
Cheques should be made payable to the ‘Kenelm Youth Trust’
The balance can be paid on the day.
What do we need to bring?
- All teams need to provide their own tents
- You will need parental consent forms
- Packed Lunch for Saturday
(BBQ, breakfast, snacks and drinks are all included)
- Pocket money for tuck shop
- Ensure your group all have plates, forks and mugs for the weekend
(Your group are responsible for washing up their own eating utensils)
• Timetables are given out at registration • There will be a qualified first aider on site • The referees decision is final. In the event of a tie, youth group leaders will decide whether their team plays in a play off or whether the winners share the trophy. • Ensure group leaders have all consent forms, players have any medication and Maria Bracken has been notified of all dietary requirements no later than Friday June7th (07980253565) • Groups need to organise their own transport
Download Booking/Consent Form
The Fearless weekend retreat is running at Alton Castle from the 22nd-24th March 2019 and promises to be filled with adventure, adrenaline, times of prayer, worship and an opportunity to enter into the sacraments.
As always this retreat is open to all young people in Years 5 through to Year 9 however this year, Fearless will include a stream for Young Leaders in Years 10 through to 13.
The young leaders stream will have their own accommodation in Soli Centre for Youth Ministry and will take part in sessions tailored just for them: designed to engage inspire and build up their ability to lead and share the faith.
Experience a weekend at Alton Castle like no other. Cost: £75pp. Email Stephen for more info, or download a booking form here and book your place today.
Proud 2 Profess is a one-day event running on Saturday 13th April 2019 at Oscott College bringing together young people and young adults aged 14 - 30 from across the Diocese, as we enter into Holy Week. Proud 2 Profess will features an immersive, live presentation of the Stations of the Cross and workshops that shed new light on to Jesus' passion, as seen through the eyes of those who were there.
For young people going on pilgrimage to Lourdes in May, this day will also offer a fresh look at Marian devotion and the importance of Our Lady in our Catholic faith.
For more information or to book tickets, please email Megan
LAST FEW SPACES REMAINING
Join us for a day of prayer and relaxation in the beautiful surroundings of the Divine Love Community House as we reflect upon the role of our own spiritual lives in our ministry with young people. Through inspiring talks, time for personal prayer and the Celebration of Mass we invite you to join us as we go deeper in our journey and explore how our faith can overflow into the lives of others. Email Kristi to book your place, but move fast as places are limited!
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