Youth Ministers on mission in the Solomon Islands
Youth Ministers and leaders from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and Lismore recently returned to Australian shores from the first Solomon Islands mission.
Combining with key leaders from the Solomon Islands, including Archbishop Christopher Cardone, the team lead the mission that explored the Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia vision across the Solomon Islands.
The mission began with the Archbishop of Honiara, Archbishop Christopher, welcoming the team into the Archdiocese. The week was spent exploring the Youth Ministry model across St. Joseph’s Tenaru, Bishop Epalle and Visale Secondary Schools that included student and teacher formation.
The team ran Breakthrough Sessions and Catch the Wave Retreats that incorporated testimony, drama, icebreakers, activities and opportunities for prayer. The student leaders were formed through a Lead Conference that prepared them for ministry and mission. The week culminated with broader Church ministry in at Cathedral Parish – Holy Cross – community in Honiara.
The mission was an incredible success, with Youth Minister Hannah McMahon saying, “Entering into the first ever mission to the Solomon Islands was overwhelmingly exciting but also had a sense of nerves which came from not knowing what to expect.
“Having many highlights from this mission it is hard to bring it down to one but the school visits were incredible and on the weekend we spent time with the youth from Holy Cross Cathedral with many of them taking us to the markets, teaching us how to dance and sharing stories which eventuated into most of them joining us for Sunday Mass.”
Forming meaningful Christ centred relationships is integral to successful missions. This was evident in the relationships established with key leaders from the Solomon Islands earlier in the year at the Youth Ministry Equipping School which was hosted by the Archdiocese as well as seeing the impact of the significant relationships between schools in Lismore and Honiara.
This was also a significant impact on the team, with Hannah saying “the people and culture initially being so foreign to me, quickly became such a large part of my heart. I can’t wait to continue the relationships we have built in the Solomon Islands.”
This is sure to be the beginning of an exciting new vision unfolding across the Solomon Islands!
All photos by Jacob de Dassel.