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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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OYA Events

Introduction

Oblate Youth Australia frequently holds events for the local and national communities to come together to share in the Charism of St Eugene de Mazenod and grow in faith.

Shared experience is a critical component of what Oblate Youth Australia is about and is one of the seven creedal statements.

Youth Ministry is often simply understood as youth groups meeting weekly or bimonthly.  Regular youth meetings should be seen as part of a comprehensive
approach to youth ministry which includes gatherings, special experiences or youth masses.

Offering different opportunities for young people to participate, where they feel comfortable, is essential to an integrated vision of youth ministry. To create a safe environment for young people while facilitating events, OYA has developed a number of policies and procedures.

Youth Groups

An Oblate Youth group should aim to bring together young people with a common faith to explore and develop their faith as a Christian community.  The primary focus should always be faith. An Oblate youth group is not a social group or an activities group as it is simply impossible for the church to compete with the entertainment available in our world today.  Oblate youth groups do not exclude having fun,
participating in activities or the development of a natural social network, however leaders, adults supports, and the Chaplain must keep the vision clear and simple.  Each time the leaders gather to prepare an activity or an event, this simple question should be asked:

How will this activity or event help young people to encounter Christ, explore the Gospel values and their faith as individuals and as a Christian community in the context of serving the wider church and world communities?

Youth Masses

Once the group is established, regular youth masses are an important opportunity for gathering the youth community, sharing their faith with the wider community and attracting new members.

As discussed in greater detail in the ‘Eucharist’ section, youth masses are not simply masses with youth-friendly music.  Inviting members of the group to participate in sharing their gifts through singing, playing an instrument, reading, processions or acting out the gospel, is a way of attracting new members into the community and allowing young people to share their gifts where they feel comfortable.  They might not end up attending the regular meetings, but simply participate each month by sharing their gifts at youth masses.

Youth masses offer a wonderful opportunity to bring all the youth groups together, no matter what age, to share their gifts and spend time together.

Retreats

The aim of a retreat is to remove young people from the normal experience of
parish, of school, or of their ordinary lives, and to be open to an opportunity to reflect on the action of God in their own lives.  Youth retreats can come in various formats: evening, half day, one-day, overnight or weekend.

They should include these
components:
Prayer - individual and communal
Community building and music
Discussion
Presentation
Group activity
Recreation
Reflection

There are a number of resources
available at Oblate Youth Central to assist you in running a successful
retreat.  
For example: Good Friday Retreats, Junior Camp programs and an outline for a dramatic Stations of the Cross.

Youth retreats also offer the opportunity to bring all age groups together, however particular attention should be paid to breaking up discussion groups considering
compatible levels of maturity and faith.




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