To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person
Growth in faith is a life journey which engages the whole person.
Adolescence is a crucial time in that journey for asking questions and searching for truth. Our challenge in the Church is to foster in young people a sense of Catholic identity that will provide a guiding direction for the rest of their lives.
Personal and spiritual growth begins in childhood and continues through the young adult years and beyond. This development does not happen in isolation, and youth ministry needs to be aware of and support ministry with children, young adults, parents and grandparents to enable a holistic approach.
Young people need to be nurtured in developing a sense of self worth, understanding that they are created and loved by God, whose dream for them contains a path and a future. As a faith community we assist this through prayer, leading by example, and providing solid foundations for character and moral development.
Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full. (cf. John 10:10)
People striving towards personal and spiritual growth encounter obstacles and wounds. It is though grace, the healing power of the sacraments of Reconciliation and nourishment of the Eucharist that we continue in relationship with God, in the midst of our brokenness. The place of the Word of God is key in our ministry with young people, for recognising and sharing the joys and sorrows of our own path and journeying with them as they grow spiritually and personally as individuals.
There are many obstacles that may impinge on healthy spiritual growth – from family breakdown, poverty, discrimination and social injustice to the increasingly secular worldview portrayed in the media and popular culture, to the values of a disposable and consumption-oriented society. Ministry with young people needs to address these issues, as both a personal response to those who are suffering, and a wider approach to address the causes.