Have you ever considered having a Parish Youth Council? You probably have but thought it was too difficult to establish or manage- well here is an account of the Castlegregory Parish Youth Council today.
My name is Cathy and I am chairperson of our parish youth Council. This weekend we have a collection to support our work and I just want to give you a brief outline of what we are about, how we came to be and what our plans are for the future.
In 2011, the diocese planned a workshop in Killarney for young people to promote young people’s participation in parish life. Each parish was asked to bring six or seven young people and two adults to the day. Seven of us got together with two adults to go the workshop but due to a poor response from the parishes in the diocese the day was cancelled. However, as we had a group together we thought it a pity to let it pass so we stayed together and Bernie McCaffrey from the Diocesan Pastoral Renewal team came to our parish and did a training evening with us. That was the beginning. Since then we have organised special youth Masses, organized fundraising events for our local St. Vincent de Paul as well as other charities. A few celebrations stand out, our Youth Mass with a ‘Hope’ theme back in March 2012. We celebrated afterwards in the Clubrooms with a Barn Dance – there was a mix of young and old at that gathering and it was memorable. What is really important to us, as young people, is that we are now represented on our Parish Pastoral Council. We have a real chance to make a difference and be a voice for other young people and also work with the parish council in planning for the future. We plan to resume our visitation to the nursing homes in November. We also plan to make our family Day an annual event to be celebrated on the Feast of the Holy Family. We meet every second Friday at the Clubrooms, prayer is part of our gathering, as well as tea and brownies!! Some of us have moved on to college but we continue to be involved and new members from Transition year and fifth year have joined up. We have a mission statement and a vision for our parish for the next 5 to 10 years. We have left these at the back of our church for parishoners. All of us together can help make this vision a reality – we ask you for your prayers for all the young people of the parish and for those who work with us and guide us in the faith. We appreciate your support. Also, we have a breakfast morning for Childline in the Clubrooms after Mass this weekend . There is a cake sale, lots of home baking, face painting and other activities for children and waffles! Thank you.