The fresh face of the Church

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Youth leaders from across the archdiocese join Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP at Cathedral House. PHOTO: Sydney Catholic Youth

Archbishop Fisher hosts youth ministry leaders from across the Archdiocese of Sydney already preparing for the post-COVID era

Milad Khalil, the new team leader of Sydney Catholic Youth, says a recent gathering of young leaders with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP was a taste of the great energy and excitement that is building for youth ministry across the archdiocese in 2022.

Youth and young adult leaders from across the archdiocese enjoyed dinner with the archbishop in his home to celebrate and give thanks for a challenging but grace-filled year.

The archbishop thanked each young adult for the work that they are doing in building up the young church and how proud he is to lead a dynamic and youth-filled Church.

Encouraging them to stand firm in the love of Christ, he quoted Pope Francis in telling them, “You are the Church of now!”

“It was a beautiful night because it was one of our first opportunities to gather in person,” Milad told The Catholic Weekly. “There was a great energy in the room in terms of people’s excitement and anticipation for next year.

It was a good opportunity also for the young people to have a personal encounter with His Grace and to find that he is very approachable and down to earth.”

“I think His Grace was very positive and hopeful in the sense that we’re going to see good things happen in the Church in the post-COVID era, that the vibrancy of our faith will really shine forth. It was a good opportunity also for the young people to have a personal encounter with His Grace and to find that he is very approachable and down to earth.”

Youth ministry during 2021 had adapted to the lockdown and restrictions, and new ways of doing ministry had unfolded with online outreach, but it was still a struggle to do relational ministry well, Milad said.

For 2022, Milad’s team which also includes Youth Officers John Nguyen and Jennifer Healey, hope to foster a much stronger collaboration between Sydney Catholic Youth and other archdiocesan agencies, for example Sydney Catholic Schools, university chaplaincies and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine which supports catechists in state schools.

“We’re looking to really develop grassroots, parish-based youth and young adult ministry and support our schools with their work, and we also want to draw young people into the larger archdiocesan initiatives, such as Walk with Christ and March for Life,” Milad said, while preparatory events for World Youth 2023 in Lisbon will also be high on the agenda.

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