Young Catholic life is focus of Britain’s upcoming youth ministry congress

.- Britain’s national Catholic Youth Ministry Congress will take place in London on Feb. 27. Organizers say they have scheduled some of the best known Catholic speakers for the event, which will also present new research into the life and faith of young Catholics.

The Congress, organized by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation for England and Wales (CYMFed), has as its theme “We have set our hope on the living God.” Over 700 youth leaders, chaplains, teachers and priests have registered to attend.

Headline speakers at the Congress are Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, who is former Master of the Dominicans, and Abbot Christopher Jamison, a television host and author.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols will deliver the closing exhortation at the final liturgy, CYMFed reports.

Other keynote speakers include Bob and Maggie McCarty, an American couple involved with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Their vision helped shape the creation of the CYMFed.

The event’s master of ceremonies will be David Wells, director of education for the Diocese of Plymouth.

Fr. Dominic Howarth, Chair of CYMFed, said the Congress is “delighted with the range and caliber of the speakers, and with the support from the bishops.”

“It is the first time for many years that there has been a national event on this scale for those working with young people in our Church, and we hope it marks the beginning of a fresh revitalisation of national Catholic Youth Ministry, to complement and strengthen the wonderful work happening in many places locally.”

The results of a wide-ranging survey will be presented at the Congress. It explored young Catholics’ understanding of their world and their faith and also examined the perceptions of the Church among Mass goers and those Catholics who do not attend church.

The research was commissioned for CYMFed by the Young Christian Workers (YCW), the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Danny Curtin, YCW President, will present the research with Abbot Christopher.

Curtin said it was “illuminating’ to discover how young people understand and practice their faith. He predicted the results will “transform” many people’s approach to working with young Catholics.

“Although there are challenges in our research, it is also an opportunity of hope; hope for the Church to learn from our own young people, and hope that young people will be best served by us as youth ministers.”

Over 700 tickets have been sold for the event, whose website is at http://www.cymfed.org.

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