The awards can be completed at different levels, tailored to a young person’s ability and other commitments.
BCYS are hosting evening events to launch (or relaunch!) the awards: find out how your school or parish could support young people to take up the award and hear from young people who have already taken part:
The Kenelm Youth Trust and the Vocations Office for the Archdiocese of Birmingham warmly invite you to the Christ is Alive Youth Ministry Conference Day on Saturday 28th September, 10am - 5pm at Alton Castle.
The conference will explore the ideas and trends that emerged at Church's recent synod on young people, faith and vocational discernment. It will give food for thought as well as practical approaches to serving young people and keeping their voices at the heart of our ministry.
The day is for at youth workers, parish youth leaders, catechists, lay chaplains in schools, pastoral workers and all those involved in mission and ministry. Workshops and presentations include:
The conference has been subsidised to enable parish volunteers to participate and tickets are £10 for those in the Archdiocese. (This includes a bacon sandwich and tea and cake refreshments. Please also bring a packed lunch.)
Parish priests have been invited to send two delegates to the conference from each parish. Please speak to your priest if you would like to represent your parish or simply book your place directly by email.
St. Bernard is a really amazing saint. He was born over 900 years ago, but there’s a thing or two he can teach us today.
It’s worth saying that Bernard had a head-start in life. His mum and dad were important nobles of 'high descent', which means not only did they have titles, land, money and influence…
…their families also had a reputation and a lot history, which was very important back then. Bernard’s parents were basically A-listers in 11th Century Burgundy, in France.
Bernard was 22 when he felt that God was calling him to become a monk.
To be honest, Bernard probably could have enjoyed quite a comfortable life in a monastery. He was educated and he was of noble birth, so he wouldn't necessarily have to peel potatoes with the other other monks.
However, Bernard did not go for the easy option. Despite the reputation that some monasteries had for being really cushy..
...Bernard opted for a relatively new monastery called Cîteaux Abbey. Cîteaux Abbey was pretty hardcore: it had been founded a few years prior, in order to return to a very basic way of life.
It is said that Bernard’s testimony inspired other people: so much so, that about 20 of Bernard’s (also noble) friends decided to become monks, as well as 4 of his 5 brothers.
And if you're wondering what became of the fifth and final brother, we'll come on to him in a minute.
Within 3 years, Bernard and some of the other monks were sent to found a new monastery. Before long Bernard became the abbot. Again life was pretty basic at the new monastery, but Bernard's reputation for holiness meant that people flocked to join the community.
130 new monks joined up in fact. Including, Bernard's own Dad. Yep that's right. Bernard's own high-born father decided to become a monk and live under his son's guidance (Bernard's mum had died when Bernard was 18).
And guess who else would eventually come to join the monastery?
Yep that's right. It was Bernard's remaining brother. And just for good measure, this last brother went on to become a saint, Saint Gerard of Clairvaux.
The only member of Bernard's family not in the monastery was his sister. But guess what? At her brother's urging, she became a Benedictine nun and she was later beatified, Blessed Humbeline of Jully.
St. Bernard did a whole bunch of other amazing things in his life, including settling disputes about who should be the Pope, being a major player in the reforms that introduced the Cistercian monastic order and preaching to combat heresy.
But before all of that, by simply being holy and listening to God's call, Bernard inspired his whole family on the journey to sainthood. And Bernard didn't give up, even when things took a bit longer, e.g. for Gerard and Humbeline.
Think about your own family context for a second. God wants to use your example as a way of helping the people in your family grow in holiness. Isn't that cool? Just remember, even when you think that aren't taking any notice, miracles can happen!
St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Pray for us
St. Gerard of Clairvaux: Pray for us
Blessed Humbeline of Jully: Pray for us
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.