Originally planned to be held in the lead up to September’s Diocesan Assembly but postponed due to COVID restrictions, the November 21 event is expected to be attended by up to 200 young people from regional and metropolitan parishes.
To be held at the Nazareth College Findon Campus in the Catherine Community Centre, it is the first youth assembly organised in the Archdiocese since the 1980s.
Peter Bierer from the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults (COYYA), which is coordinating the event, said the assembly would provide a “wonderful opportunity” for young people to have their voices heard.
“I am excited about the assembly,” he said.
“I think it is a wonderful opportunity for young people to really make a stand and say publicly this is what we want as a cohort of young people at this time in the Archdiocese. These are the things we are concerned about and these are the things that we want to see addressed, as well as these are the commitments we are going to make.
“In a sense the assembly will give young people the chance to hear other voices, to be inspired, to create a new vision of what it is to be Church.
“My hope is that this kind of assembly is attached to every Diocesan Assembly we hold, so young people are continually developing their vision and inspiring the next generation of young people as they come forward.”
The assembly will run from 2pm to 7.30pm, with participants encouraged to celebrate Mass in their own communities in the morning on what will be World Youth Day and the feast of Christ the King.
Mr Bierer said the agenda would include time for reflection on the Plenary Council’s first assembly last month, with youth members Julian Nguyen and Maddy Forde sharing their experiences. Young participants in September’s Dioc-esan Assembly will also speak about what was discussed and their thoughts on the process.
However, the youth assembly will primarily focus on “developing their own agenda”.
“It’s really about generating new ideas, original ideas from young people so they don’t feel like they just have to react,” Mr Bierer said.
“They are developing their own agenda for the young people of the Archdiocese. They are going to be looking at the Diocesan Vision for Young People which was originally developed by the Council for Ministry for Young People in 2009.
“Young participants will review that, make suggestions to the Council, which will use it for its strategic planning in the next three to five years. It will also give COYYA and the Diocesan Pastoral Council some direction for the future.”
Any other information that comes out of the youth assembly will be passed on to the relevant groups within the Archdiocese.
While young people were canvassed their thoughts through the Raise Your Voice forums hosted by COYYA in 2017, Mr Bierer said the assembly was the first formal gathering of youth in the Archdiocese for nearly 40 years.
He believed some of the key issues to be discussed would include mental health, care for creation, faith formation and accompaniment, and youth leadership.
Registrations for the assembly are now open, with young people from regional parishes already indicating their desire to attend the historic event alongside young Catholics from the metropolitan area.
In addition to the formal discussions on the day, there will be entertainment by talented musicians, fun activities and food available.
For more information and to register go to www.cathyouthadelaide.org.au