YoY Newsletters

For the Year of Youth, the AOY is putting together five exclusive Year of Youth newsletters. Click to view editions, you can also subscribe to the newsletters by viewing them and then opting to receive them via the link.


We have just finalised the report from our Year of Youth School Forums held in May. Click the image to read a copy for the report.

Br. Blake Crossley OP has written a series of articles highlighting the rosary in the Year of Youth. Click the image to download the article.
Br. Blake is a Novice with the Dominican Friars, residing at the Dominican House of Studies, East Camberwell.

St Thomas the Apostle, Blackburn 
I’m now in my third year of working in Youth Ministry. I chose this role as I was looking for a career change and wanted to work with the local community.  In the first year of my role, I familiarised myself with what the Ministry was. Coming out of the corporate world, this was a huge learning curve for me.  Last year, I stepped into (very gently) more of a ‘hands on’ role working closely with the volunteers in the team and learning more about the practical side of things.
This year, I am more involved in the organising and executing of our youth activities here are St Thomas’. The old idiom ‘there’s no time like the present’ is very fitting in The Year of the Youth to do exactly this. My focus is to introduce God and faith to more young people in our community with an emphasis in getting more youth engagement happening inside and outside of the parish and connecting them back to the faith. Faith is a very personal journey for each of us and realising the importance of this is essential in bringing people closer to God. The opportunity exists for us to walk with our young, listen to them and really get connected with them. Through that connection, we can bring awareness to our youth about the significance of engaging with each other and their faith on a daily basis. My hope is that every young person’s faith in God flourishes.
I’m excited about this year and I look forward to being part of this journey and hope that our youth will experience growth, engagement and creativity with their faith, each other and the wider community.
Caren Garlick
St Thomas the Apostle, Blackburn

Since the announcement of Year of Youth by the Australian Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis, our parish has been encouraged that it is time to start an active Youth Group for the youth of Sunbury parish.  Our Parish Priest, Fr Kevin McIntosh has endorsed the group and our school principals and leadership are also behind us and wanting it to go well for the parish.
Our current youth group currently do fundraising for local charities by coordinating parish dinner dances but we wanted to have an active youth group where our youth will feel connected to each other and to the parish community by gathering in an interactive and fun environment on a frequent basis.
Currently our parish is working in collaboration with our local parish schools, youth chaplains, Archdiocese Youth Leaders and students to produce a youth group that will appeal to our local youth.
After attending the Year of Youth Launch in Melbourne, we came back to the parish full of enthusiasm and ready to launch our youth group, but what we want to achieve is taking a bit longer to plan and coordinate than I had originally thought. We are working slow and steady in order to produce something that will be wonderful, rather than rush into it and have it fail. So with a great team behind it, we are working on all the facets that need to be in place before we can start the first session. Things that are important like the Child Safe Standards, Policy and Procedures for sessions and events, Marketing the group to our parents and youth. All of these things are important even before our kids walk into the Hall.
The hopes for the Sunbury Parish Youth Group are that the youth of our parish feel connected to each other, to our leaders, to our parish, to our faith. That they have a sense of belonging and will develop their faith.

Jo Spiteri, Parish Secretary

Year of Youth Parish Focus: St James the Apostle Parish, Hoppers Crossing North
Becoming a part of the Youth Group was something I had wanted to do from the time it was introduced at St James the Apostle Parish, Hoppers Crossing North. It allowed me to grow in many ways and opened me up to a journey of faith. When the opportunity arose for me to serve as a Youth Leader, I had no doubts that it was where God was guiding me to.
Recently, I took a gap year and traveled and the whole time, I felt like something was missing. I no longer had the connection and relationship with God that Youth Ministry had provided and once I returned, it became very clear to me again that serving as a Youth Leader was where I needed to be to not only deepen my faith journey but to be able to help other young people on theirs. Not only has the parish nurtured me at my current place in my faith journey but it has also provided me with many opportunities to further that journey.
In the near future I look forward to serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion, whilst also enhancing my connection with the young adults of the parish in the Young Paulists, further serving my community through acts and works of charity.

-Erin Kemp, Youth Leader

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