A few months back we reported that - after almost a decade away from having a group presence in Middlesbrough Diocese - the YCW has successfully formed a new group in St Patrick’s Catholic College, Thornaby. This followed the appointment of former YCW member, Damian McCann, as Deputy Head of the school and a visit up to the area from the National Team earlier this year.
Since then, the young leaders within the Group have been working hard to understand the SEE-JUDGE-ACT Method of the YCW and participate in enquiries and reviews of life. There are now 9 young leaders being trained through this and they have already begun to live out the actions called for in the Gospels.
The first action focused on homelessness and followed a discussion around what is would feel like to be alone and away from family at Christmas time. In response, the Group have been supporting the Salvation Army raise money and awareness by holding a competition for the best ginger bread house. There was also a bake sale organised to add further funds for the charities’ work in this area.
In addition, the Group visited a local care home to have afternoon tea with the residents. The young leaders took time to reflect on this experience and understand the importance of taking time to visit those who are lonely.
One young person said: “Walking to the care home I was nervous, but when I got there I felt very welcomed.” Another added: “I was scared to go in, but I was fine when I started talking to them.” There was also a lot of fun during the event as the young people shared what music they are fans of and got the residents to join in. One young leader described this saying: “I think it is great that we get to share what is popular today with the older generation. I loved the trip and want to go again. The stories were great!”
Finally, the Group looked at Matthew 25 and the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. They explored what this meant around the issue of hunger. As part of the CAFOD harvest campaign, the Group collected for the harvest festival, made and sold soup during lunchtimes and made lunch for parishioners/parents. All this raised £192 for CAFOD.