Fr David Burke and Callum Moore
This term we welcomed officially to the team the newly-ordained Fr David Burke to our team as an assistant Chaplain to Fr David Riley (two Fr David’s!!). For those of you who may remember, Fr David Burke was actually Director of Youth Ministry for Westminster before leaving for studies in Rome.
We also welcomed the talented Callum, who last year was a Volunteer Missionary at SPEC but also brings with him experience from different dioceses across the country. So we are gaining lots of experience and support and we look forward to see what God has in store for us all this year!
Our September kicked off with supporting some of our schools in their back-to-school induction days. Our day at St Charles in Ladbroke Grove involved lots of students and a team game involving carpet tiles and the floor being lava. It was a great day and a joy for us to get to know some of the new students at the beginning of their new school years.
New SPEC team
Part of our week involves spending time in prayer and formation with the SPEC community over in Pinner. It’s a great way for us to start our week, but we also love spending time with the community. The new Volunteer Missionaries have arrived from all over the world and we are enjoying getting to know them. Check out their first few weeks on their Facebook page!
Increasingly we are going out to parishes as they begin the process of recruiting youth workers. Early September, we were invited out to Holloway parish who are looking into employing a youth worker. We talked though the process and some of the specifics of what the parish might be looking for, and we left Fr Gideon with some examples of job descriptions. Keep a look out for upcoming vacancies!
On Friday 11 September we were once again out supporting a school induction. This time St Benedict’s in Ealing. This day involved Callum sharing some of his story relating it to finding happiness in life, small groups, a barbecue and group activities out in the glorious sunshine. We finished with a beautiful outdoor Mass. It was a blessing to spend the day with the school.
It has become a new tradition that after the highly successful Lourdes pilgrimage, we give the redcaps an opportunity to come for a reunion, to catch up with friends they made in the pilgrimage, and to talk about how we can ‘continue the pilgrimage’ once we are back in London. We looked at service, community and prayer, played some silly games and ate some good food. We finished off in some time of adoration with the parish of St Aloysius.
Greenford Parish Meet
Mid-September saw us going out to the parish of our Lady of the Visitation in Greenford. We met Maxine and some of the other confirmation catechists. They were an inspiring bunch, full of exciting ideas. Together we have come up with a plan for a youth group for the confirmation age involving food and games and different sessions. We are excited to see what grow here!
We have also been out to Ruislip parish to visit their incredible youth worker Siobhan. Only employed in June, she has a thriving group that meets every Wednesday. It’s a great opportunity for us to support and encourage our youth workers in their roles; they do so well and we don’t want them feeling isolated or stuck for ideas so we are always here at the end of a phone and happy to drop in for a visit.
Towards the end of the month we went over to St Margaret on Thames parish in Twickenham to talk about World Youth Day at the end of the weekend Masses. We are already so excited for Krakow 2016 – for more information check out our WYD event page!
We received a call in the month to visit the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Kensington, asking for some support as they embark on starting a parish youth group for the post-confirmation age. Always happy to get involved we met up with Fr Alexander and Alessandra and we discussed the different age groups and approaches and the bonus of teaming up with local parishes. There is lots of potential and energy here and we shall see what the next few months unfolds here. We’ll keep you posted!
We attended the summer Proclaim15 event in Birmingham and this month the Parish and Deanery representatives came together to spend an evening together reflecting on the positive experience of the event and looking forward to the Proclaim Westminster event on Saturday 14 November.
It is always wonderful to host Catholic Underground at the Centre for Youth Ministry and this month’s event was once again a truly prayerful and contemplative experience. The Friars bring a real opportunity for young adults to step outside the busyness of today’s world.
Advanced planning for upcoming events
Although September has been a busy one, with visits all over the Diocese, we are only just ramping up for the upcoming year. We have taken some time to make sure we have everything in focus, and will all work smoothly. Keep checking our website and your emails because you don’t want to be missing out on some of the following that is coming your way.