The Gift of our Children

Julia Del Bianco Year 12, St Mary MacKillop College

Why is your Catholic faith important to you?

For me, prayer and faith is not only a way to reflect on my week, what’s important to me and where I need help in life, but it is also a way to connect with and feel closer to my family. Going to church has always been something that I have done with my family, and something that they’ve done long before I was around. My relatives have always been very Catholic, and I suppose it has just influenced me.

Any ideas on how the voice of young people in the Church could be strengthened?

I am part of the music group at my local church and we are allowed a lot of liberty with how we present and perform the music. In this way, our voices are able to be heard, and the identity of young people is reflected in the mass. However, in my experience, it does not go much more beyond that. We often hear a lot of talk about how to get young people involved in the church – I feel that most of this talk is conducted by adults, with little consideration for the opinions of young people. I think we have great ideas, and I would love to see the Church community being more open to them. We want to be more involved in the big issues that are facing the Church.

In your opinion what difference does the involvement of young people make to the church?

I don’t think young people really do make a difference, but we have the potential to. As I see it, with my musical involvement, lots of people accept, appreciate and encourage our contribution, but there are still too many people who are intimidated by new ideas and the difference we make to the atmosphere of the mass.

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I think that young people could make a huge impact on the Church and its influence, but currently, there is not enough involvement from us to do so. To increase our involvement, we need to balance the traditional values of the Church with modern culture and appeal.

What or who has inspired you on your faith journey?

Growing up with a Maltese-Italian family, my Catholicism has always been something I am comfortable with and proud of. I have heard stories from my relatives of the ways that God has helped them in their life. Though I have never had a truly miraculous experience that I would be able to attribute to God’s work, their guidance has inspired me and kept my faith alive.


Darcy Kinsella, Year 12, St Mary MacKillop College

Why is your catholic faith important to you?

The Catholic faith is important to me because as I see it as a way to help guide me through tough times. I am not someone who goes to church everyday or studies the bible, but I view  the Catholic Church as a way to help me recentre my life and keep it focused. It is very easy to plough through life without taking much time to stop and think about why you are doing what you are doing it. To me, Catholicism helps me to step back and really think about my purpose and helps me to justify my place in the world.

Any ideas on how the voice of young people in the church could be strengthened?

The voice of young people in the church would be greatly strengthened by including young people in church communities more often, and ensuring their opinions and ideas are given adequate consideration. I know many young people who enjoy being Catholic, but often feel they aren’t listened to by the more senior members in their church communities. Often these people will be the role models for the younger members of the church, so it is important that they take into consideration the ideas of the youth and ensure more participation opportunities are provided.

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In your opinion what difference does the involvement of young people make to the church?

It makes a huge difference. The large part of the Catholic community are adults, and there are a lot less young Catholics then there were 50 years ago. Young people help to bring a vibrancy and excitement to the church. Many young Catholics enjoy the community aspects of the church, such as singing, youth groups etc. Having the youth of the church participate in and help run these groups helps to bring a new energy into the church and ensures that the future of the Catholic church will be an abundant one.

 What or who has inspired you on your faith journey?

I grew up in a Catholic family and have been going to church for as long as I can remember. I have been lucky enough to have some fantastic priests at my parish who have really helped me in my faith journey. I think the biggest influence was Father Peter Day. He was a priest at Corpus Christi Parish. When I was quite young and still learning my way around my faith, he would always be willing to talk to me, and taught me about the Catholic faith and its values- messages that still stick with me today. I think it is extremely important to have priests or seniors in your church community who are relatable, east to talk to and treat you as if you are an adult. That is something I will value eternally.

 

COMMENTS

Wordpress (2)
  • Christine Riley 3 weeks

    Congratulations on very interesting articles

  • Glenda 3 weeks

    I hope and pray that young people get a voice. I have watched generations of young people leave the church and i see no changes to prevent this from occurring.

    Many priests focus more on redecorating than listening and encouraging youth participation.