Happy New Year from the YCW

Happy New Year from everyone here at the YCW. We hope you have all had a peaceful and enjoyable break.

There is a lot planned for 2017, including the commemoration and celebration of our 80 year anniversary. More details to follow about this.

In the meantime, please read about Pope Francis' end-of-year message in which he discusses the challenges around youth unemployment.

"We have condemned our young people to have no place in society, because we have slowly pushed them to the margins of public life, forcing them to migrate or to beg for jobs that no longer exist or fail to promise them a future."

Full story here: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN14K0KI

A Christmas Message

As we draw towards the end of 2016 we look back upon all that we have achieved. As a movement we can be content in the knowledge that more young people across England and Wales are growing in Christian leadership and 'being the difference' in their homes, places of work and local communities.

However we must also recognise that this year has been a difficult time for many. Young workers across the country are still faced with hardship due to unemployment, low pay and precarious working conditions. Further afield from home we see worrying evidence of political unrest and war where the Christian values of love, peace and the common good are ignored in place of ideology, power and greed.

However, the season of Christmas provides us with an opportunity to dispel some of this darkness by focusing our hearts and minds upon the hope that the birth of the Prince of Peace delivers. Pope Francis in his Christmas Day message of 2014 reminded us;

"Where God is born, hope is born. He brings hope. Where God is born, peace is born. And where peace is born, there is no longer  room for hatred and for war."

We pray that in this season of Christmas the birth of the Christ child will enlighten our hearts so that we may all better live out His call to be missionary disciples to one another.

The YCW National Team wish you a very happy Christmas.

The headquarters of the YCW will close on Thursday 22nd December and will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January.

 Jesus in the manger.

Jesus in the manger.

National Team Plans for the Future

This past weekend the National Team of YCW gathered at Hyning Hall in Lancashire to discuss plans for the upcoming year. It was also an opportunity to review our collective achievements and acknowledge the hard work of so many members.

Hyning Hall.jpg

Phil, the National President of YCW, gave an update on how the first year at Trafford Park had gone and what activities had been organised since moving there. There are now 10 more groups formed across England and Wales, as well as new staff and new National Executive members. There have also been several training days held up at St Antony's Centre, for both adults and children, including the National Council.

Afterwards, our National Chaplain - Mgr. John Marsland - explored the mission of the YCW through the writings of Joseph Cardijn. This included a discussion around the notion of a "vocation to working life" and how the idea of work can be seen as part of our "Divine destiny". 

We finished the weekend with a session by Amélie, the outgoing International President of the ICYCW, who did some training around the role of a leader in the YCW. This touched upon the expectations and challenges of leadership. 

National Youth Sunday

Last weekend we celebrated National Youth Sunday across England and Wales and the YCW was invited to showcase its work in Salford Cathedral, alongside a range of fantastic groups aimed at young people in the Diocese.

It was great to see so many young people there and get a chance to speak to them about what the YCW is, what it does and why it does it. There was a lot of interest in how people can join and even set up their own Impact and YCW groups in parishes and schools, which we will be following up.

If your Diocese/Parish/School is holding a similar event and you think the YCW can help be part of it, please let us know and we can supply any materials you might need.

Remembering Joseph Cardijn's Life

This past Sunday (the 13th) we celebrated the anniversary of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn's birth. Cardijn founded the YCW in 1925 in response to the harsh working conditions he encountered in his native Belgium.

He devoted his life to the movement, aiming to "reconcile the Church with the industrial workers of the world".

He served as an adviser during Vatican II and was made a Cardinal in 1965.

The official cause of canonisation was opened in January 2014 and we continue to pray for the work of the Church tribunal. 

Cardijn's life, work and teachings remain with us today and his See, Judge, Act method is an integral part of how the YCW seeks to develop young Christian leaders. His words about the essential relationship between faith and work remain as true today as when he first spoke them: 

"Religion should not be outside of ordinary, daily life, but rather it should animate and transform it into a truly divine life."

YCW Chaplains and Companions Day

Last Saturday there was an excellent training day for YCW Chaplains and Companions, hosted by St Antony's Centre in Trafford Park. It was attended by representatives from all over England and Wales, including many of our long serving members but also some new faces interested in joining the movement.

We began the day with a fascinating talk by the acclaimed writer Paul Vallely, who spoke passionately about how Pope Francis has sought to promote the YCW model of See, Judge, Act into his pontificacy and for the Church as a whole. In particular, Paul highlighted the core belief of Pope Francis that "realities are more important than ideas" when it comes to accompanying people through their lives.

Paul V.jpg

Paul has written in more depth on this topic in the latest edition of his book, Pope Francis: The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism.

Following this, our National Chaplain - Mgr. John Marsland - led a session about how scripture can be used within YCW and Impact groups as a means of helping young people to view their lives in light of the Gospel.

Finally, National President Phil Callaghan gave the group an update on the recent work of YCW. This included feedback from the International Council, held during the Summer in South Korea, and a very successful training weekend in the Holy Land. Phil ended the day by stating that the YCW was growing, with more and more groups being set-up across England and Wales. Fantastic!

Thank you to all those who came along to contribute their ideas and enthusiasm. Your amazing service for the YCW is always appreciated!