YCW Leaders To Attend Flame Youth Congress 2019

Flame is an event for every young person, wherever they are starting from, to help them deeply discover and rediscover Jesus Christ as their brother, friend and saviour, full of joy and mercy. It is an event for young people who are well connected to the church, and for those who think the Church has nothing to say to them.

The YCW sits as a member on the organising body, CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation), and has attended each year with a large contingent of young leaders.

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This year, we are bringing along 100 from across England and Wales, who will be participating in liturgies, enjoy music and guest speakers but also the opportunity to meet other young people. Following the day we will aim to get some feedback from our YCW leaders and share this on our website.

In the words of Pope Francis: “Faith is a flame that grows stronger the more it is shared and passed on.”

YCW Announces Date For National Council 2019

We are pleased to confirm that the 80th National Council of the Young Christian Workers on Saturday 23rd March 2019.

The venue is St Antony's Centre, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, M17 1JF.

All members of the YCW and IMPACT groups are encouraged to make the effort to attend this most important of events. The YCW movement is run by its members and the National Council is the highest decision making body of the organisation.

It is also a moment to celebrate its achievements and meet other young people from around the country.

Pope Francis Celebrates World Youth Day

World Youth Day (WYD) is a worldwide encounter with the Pope and young people, which is typically celebrated every three years in a different country. The last WYD was celebrated in Krakow, Poland from July 26th to 31st, 2016 and this World Youth Day was held in Panama City, Panama from January 22nd to 27th, 2019.

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WYD is open to all young people who want to take part in a festive encounter with their contemporaries centred on Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity to experience the universality of the Church; to share with the whole world the hope of many young people who want to commit themselves to Christ and others.

World Youth Day is a unique way to deepen your faith and grow closer to Christ, by means of prayer and the sacraments, together with thousands of other young people who share your interests and ambitions.

Pope Francis opened the day, saying: “With you, we want to rediscover and reawaken the Church’s constant freshness and youth, opening ourselves to a new Pentecost. As we experienced at the Synod, this can only happen if, by our listening and sharing, we encourage each other to keep walking and to bear witness by proclaiming the Lord through service to our brothers and sisters, and concrete service at that.”

At the final Mass, Pope Francis reflected on how the Gospel message ought to inspire the Church to empower young people, rather than dampen down their enthusiasm. He said: “Young people, can experience disengagement whenever you think that your mission, your vocation, even your life itself, is a promise far off in the future, having nothing to do with the present. As if being young were a kind of waiting room, where we sit around until we are called. And in the meantime, we adults or you yourselves invent a hygienically sealed future, without consequences, where everything is safe, secure and well insured.

You, dear young people, are not the future but the now of God. He invites you and calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your grandparents, your elders; to stand up and with them to speak out and realise the dream that the Lord has dreamed for you.

Not tomorrow but now.”

Some of our YCW leaders attended the day and we hope to put up some of their reflections over the coming weeks.

Ramsbottom IMPACT Group Reflect On Recent Action

On Christmas Day 2018, St Joseph’s Ramsbottom IMPACT Group came together with parishioners and members of our community to make a difference by hosting a Christmas Dinner for the lonely, vulnerable, poor and homeless. Overall, there were 85 guests who attended.

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To fund the event, the Group raised money at Church after making an appeal to the congregation after weekend Masses. Their remarks focused on the Gospel message of Jesus: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brother, that you do unto me”. The amount raised was over £300.

In addition to this, an online donation page was set up and shared on social media. This raised an impressive £2000 and allowed the Group to buy all the food and other items needed for the meal. It also meant that each guest would be able to receive a present from the young leaders.

One of the additional benefits of the action was the sense of community and collaboration that was generated by it. The local shopping centre donated a tree and decorations, parishioners gave chair covers, table cloths and help set up the room, the Manchester branch of the Council of Christian and Jews, as well as members of the Muslim community, provided the transport for the guests.

The young leaders said of the event: “We could not have taken on and carried out this challenge without the amazing help of our parish and wider community. It was very humbling and a beautiful experience, we can all honestly say that we couldn’t find a better way to spend Christmas Day.”

Marc Besford, National Training and Development Worker, congratulated the Group saying: “When I heard about how the young leaders had done such an amazing action, I was incredibly impressed. The Group is an inspiration and a fine example of how working through the YCW Method can produce amazing results.”

Sandbach YCW Group Visit Refugee Sponsorship House

Over the past year or so, we have been reporting on the amazing progress made by the Sandbach YCW Group in their efforts to sponsor and host a refugee family from Syria.

Recently, the National Training and Development Worker, Marc Besford, visited the house that is being rented by the Parish, to see the DIY work carried out by the young leaders and their fellow parishioners. It is intended that the family will arrive at the house very shortly.

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In addition to this, the Group were joined by former National President Ricky Davies who came to speak to them about the current realities of Sandbach, what they liked and disliked and how they could change it.

As part of this they looked at volunteering, helping the local foodbank in the area and talked about loneliness amongst both young and old.

Marc Besford said: "Our movement exists to train young people to be leaders and an inspiration in showing their ability to lead and change the world for the better. I hope by Sandbach’s witness others will see the potential of our young people across the country.”

Preston IMPACT! Group Join Leadership Project For Women And Girls

With the focus on developing leadership among the young people of the YCW and IMPACT! Groups, we were proud to support an additional initiative from the Preston IMPACT!.

The group is getting involved in a UKYouth led project called “EpowHER” which is also supported by the British Red Cross. EmpowHER inspires young women and girls lead change in their community. The programme, delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust with funding from Spirit of 2012, aims to address low levels of well-being amongst young women and girls in the UK by empowering them to have a voice, be heard and give back to their local community.

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Through face-to-face activity sessions, young women and girls will learn about individuals’ rights, empowerment and resilience. They will then be supported to give back to their community through inclusive and meaningful social action opportunities provided by the British Red Cross, as well as receiving specialised leadership training from the Young Women’s Trust.

The girls in the Preston Group are very keen to take up the opportunity to come visit London and visit the Red Cross Archive - with a  particular focus on the huge contributions and leadership of women and have lunch at Head Office. The Group will be joined by Red Cross role models for lunch. If there is time the Group may also arrange a visit to another Museum in London.

From the Calls to Action the group decided that they want to run a pop-up shop. They will collect and make items to sell and thought about combining with some other fundraising activities.

Kate Wilkinson, National President of the YCW, welcomed this fantastic opportunity saying: “We have been working hard over the past year to promote the development of leadership amongst young people and this initiative for young women and girls will really add to this. I’m looking forward to hearing about what they get up to!”