Young People

 
 

We are very blessed in the Adur Valley to have a large number of families and young people of all ages, mostly in the Shoreham part of the parish. This brings with it a great responsibility to pass on the faith to our younger brothers and sisters. In a country that is increasingly strident in its opposition to Christianity, young people need more support and encouragement if they are to become secure in their faith as adults, and pass on the faith in their turn to their children. The very best way adults can do this is to strive against lukewarmness in their own faith, to let the young people see that our faith is a real force in our lives, and not merely an occasional Sunday hobby.

The secular world is so very much wiser than we are in ways to attract the attention of young people. Let us try to

for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.

Luke 16:8

learn the right lessons from this, and show the much greater beauty and attraction of holiness. If we want them to become saints, we must become saints!
 

The Church’s Future

I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.

Pope Benedict XVI

at St Mary’s Twickeham

“You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing.

“Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination.

“You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun,  if you want to resist the blandishments of consumerism, if your love is not to drown in pornography, if you are not going to betray the weak and leave the vulnerable helpless.”

Pope Benedict; Introduction to Youcat

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to touch them, but when the disciples saw this they turned them away. But Jesus called the children to him and said ‘Let the little children come to me and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.’

Luke 18:15-16

Our work with young people in the Adur Valley happens in a variety of ways.

There are, of course, our Catholic schools; St Peter’s Primary in Shoreham, and also Cardinal Newman School in Hove and Chatsmore Catholic High School in Worthing; not least The Towers.

Then there are our Sacramental Programmes: First Holy Communion and Confession for those 8 and older, and then Confirmation for those 14 and older.

In addition, we have a number of activities for young people. Please see the youth news page for details.

SPYGS (St Peter’s Younger Generation Society) is a group that caters for the under-13s, sometimes in two different age-groups. This is being redeveloped with a view to launching in September 2012,

The 14+ age group has a variety of activities organized by Miles Leeson and advertized by direct contact also through the parish newsletter and the youth news page on this site.

There are all-night vigils, retreats, outings, discussions a BBQ in the summer, a trip to the Isle of Wight and other activities. Each Christmas and Summer there is an opportunity for our young people to join the Faith Society conferences for a few days, where they can meet with other practising Catholic people in their age group, and at the same time learn about their faith. See the link below for more details about the aims and vision of the society.

Our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes each summer is reckoned by the Lourdes authorities to be one of the very best Diocesan Pilgrimages. Each year there is an opportunity for teenagers to join the Redshirt group, something from which they derive a great deal of benefit and enjoyment. This year we have sent five of our young people to help.

There is also the annual Youthgather for young people of the Diocese. More details on the Youth News page.

I hope that the links on this page will help flesh out some of these opportunities for young people here. And if you feel called to help out with running a youth group, please speak to one of the clergy, or to Miles Leeson.