It was our Holy Father Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI who announced a Year of Faith
to take place from 11th October 2012 to 24th November 2013. It began on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council and ends today on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!
Together with the Church throughout the world we have reflected on the way we believe, celebrate, pray, and live our Faith in Jesus Christ, our King. During the Year of Faith there have been many challenges to our Faith but also lots of opportunities to learn more and strengthen it.
Highlights for the Youth Pastoral Team include two brilliant National Youth Events, World Youth Day in Rio, and Scotland's Rio in Stirling. On the feast of Corpus Christi earlier this summer, there were Eucharistic processions and Holy Hours across the Archdiocese that kept our focus firmly on the Lord.
No one expected that in March 2013 we would bid farewell to Pope Benedict and welcome Pope Francis as the 266th successor of St. Peter. We have been doubly blessed by the leadership of two inspirational, holy men throughout this year. Thank you, Holy Father Emeritus Benedict, thank you, Pope Francis!
Today as we renew our baptismal promises at Mass we give thanks for all we've shared in this Year of Faith and ask for the grace to continue to grow in the Faith we received at Baptism. This is not the end. This is just the beginning...
Almighty, ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the Universe,
grant, we pray,
that the whole creation, set free from slavery,
may render your majesty service
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise!
"Go, make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) - this was the theme uniting World Youth Day
events in Rio, Stirling, and elsewhere. Not all of us could make the trip to join Pope Francis in Brazil, but we were certainly together in spirit! Hundreds of young people from across Scotland, and beyond, came together at Stirling University campus for our own national gathering organised by Catholic Youth Service Scotland.
Four days of faith, fun, good food, friendship, and a festival atmosphere made Scotland's Rio
a true World Youth Day experience.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
The challenge of the New Evangelisation takes different forms around the world. In Scotland we have a great Christian tradition to rediscover and share with others in our community, despite the difficulties we face. The first step is building up our confidence - faith - in the Risen Lord, and remaining close to Him through thick and thin. The Year of Faith
is not yet over, and full of opportunities to do this!
Now we have been sent out, not only as disciples but as missionaries to our peers. As youth ministry in the Archdiocese of Glasgow goes from strength to strength, involving more and more young people, let's keep sharing ideas and enthusiasm to build momentum ahead of the next World Youth Day - 2016 in Krakow
Young people from all over the Archdiocese are counting down to one of the biggest gatherings of Catholic youth in Scotland in many years!
As Pope Francis prepares to jet off to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013, we're headed closer to home for our own celebration - Scotland's Rio - at Stirling University campus.
Are you signed up? Click the map above to find out who's going from your parish. Purple means pilgrims!
The great news is that for a limited time there are still spaces available for young people aged 14-25 to participate in Scotland's Rio, which takes place from 25th-28th July 2013.
Whether you're a WYD veteran, in need a faith top-up, or just wondering what all the fuss is about, Scotland's Rio is for you!The cost is £200 per pilgrim (+£50 from your parish) for accommodation in single room flats, with a pilgrim pack and all meals and activities included.
Download a form today and return it to us ASAP to be part of Scotland's Rio - a taste of World Youth Day without the jet lag!
There's lots coming up for young people and young adults in the Archdiocese - read on!
, and after the great success of the visit of the relics of St. John Bosco earlier in the month, a new initiative gets underway this Thursday
, 31st January - his feast day. The Don Bosco Teachers' Group
is intended as support for teachers in Catholic schools.
The first meeting takes place in the Eyre Hall of the Diocesan Offices, Clyde Street (next to St. Andrew's cathedral) at 7.30pm. All interested teachers are welcome - email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
, with this Friday being 1st February (already!), XPO is on at the Youth Pastoral Centre from 7.30-9pm.Music, input, Eucharistic Adoration, a chance to meet other young Catholics... it's all good!
New and old faces always welcome. For directions see here
.We're continuing our current Year of Faith series - trying to answer the questions other people ask about Catholicism!
This month: defending belief in the existence of God
, AGAP's annual Lentfest gets underway soon (at the beginning of Lent, in fact!) and with the programme just released, now's the time to book tickets!See www.agap.org.uk for more information. This year's Lentfest promises to be as brilliant and faith-filled as ever so whether you're into music, poetry, film, visual art, or drama
, there's something for you.(At least one member of the Youth Pastoral Team is delighted that this year kicks off with a whole lorra brass
, our youth ministry colleagues south of the Border have extended an invitation to the annual CYMFed Congress
on Saturday 16th March
.Congress 2013: The Faith Story takes place at The Sage, Gateshead, which is great for us as it means no long journey down to London!This is going to be an excellent day for youth leaders, parents, catechists, teachers, priests... you? A volunteer in need of a boost, or just received the Caritas Award and taking the next step in sharing your faith:
you're welcome!Let us know ASAP if you're 16+ and would like to go. We'll book tickets and transport as a group and cost is likely to be c.£40 for a day trip, or c.£75 with an overnight stay on Friday or Saturday (optional).
, (and finally, because I'm not even sure "fifthly" is a real word!) it's now only 178 days
until World Youth Day 2013: Scotland's Rio
!The good news is that the application deadline has been extended to 28th February
. Don't twiddle your thumbs though - spaces are limited. More info on the World Youth Day tab,
forms on the Downloads tab
, event website coming soon at www.scotlandsrio.org.uk
- get organised and get your name down pronto!
There are a number of diocesan and national events coming up for young people to mark the Year of Faith.
Firstly, XPO returns this Friday (5th) at Our Lady of Consolation with Adoration, music, and pizza (although not at the same time!). Come along to meet other young adults from across the Archdiocese to discuss ideas for the coming year. More info on the OLOC tab above. If you've not been along before, why not make our monthly event for young adults your "new year's resolution" for the Year of Faith?
Secondly, the National Youth Event takes place at Gartmore House, near Stirling, from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November. This year's theme is "Rejoice in the Lord always" from Pope Benedict's World Youth Day letter. We have a number of spaces for delegates from the Archdiocese aged 16-35. The cost is £50 - for that you get to share great speakers, great liturgy, and great food with lots of lovely people! We end with joining the Bishops' Conference Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith at Motherwell Cathedral on Sunday afternoon. Get in touch with the Youth Pastoral Team as soon as possible for an application form.
Thirdly, and further in the distance, we're now taking initial bookings for WYD: Scotland's Rio which takes place at Stirling University from 25th - 28th July 2013. This event is for young people aged 14-25 and includes a taste of the World Youth Day experience right here in Scotland! There's more info on the WYD tab and you can get a form under the download tab (click "more") - send it in to us when you're done, or call if you've got any questions.
That's all for now - hope to see you at one, some, or all of these events so we can grow in faith together!
Although the Youth Pastoral Team isn't offering a Lenten programme this year, there's still lots of things you can do to grow in Faith as we journey to Easter.
Lent is the perfect time to turn back to God and make a fresh start. Watch out for news of Lenten services and the Sacrament of Reconciliation in your parish, school, or chaplaincy. Our Google Map
can help you find your way. There might also be Stations of the Cross organised, or you can pray them yourself in any church - just ask for help if you need it. Don't forget that it's Christ's example we try to follow!
Glasgow's very own Lentfest
2012 promises to be bigger and better than ever. Look out for the play "The Martrydom of St. John Ogilvie" which opens on his feast day (Saturday 10th March) then tours
around the Archdiocese. Two other events are especially geared towards young people: the film premiere of "Doonby" at the Inner Light Film Festival (Saturday 3rd March), and fire.cloud's "1000 hearts" in Clydebank and Dennistoun (Monday 19th March).
If you read anything this Lent, Pope Benedict's message
is full of wisdom and helps us reflect on the true meaning of charity. Why not follow the Pope on Twitter
throughout this season? @pope2youvatican
gets daily tweets direct from His Holiness himself.As for bitesize inspiration on the go, Busted Halo's "Fast Pray Give" calendar has something for every day until Easter. (It's like an Advent calendar... except it's for Lent. And there's no chocolate.)
Bookmark it on your phone or computer! There are also thoughts for the day from the Archdiocese, which you can access by liking on Facebook (/ArchdioceseofGlasgow) or following on Twitter (@
Don't forget that money saved by all that fasting and abstaining is no longer yours... it belongs in the hands of those who need it most. Lent is more than a second chance to keep New Year's Resolutions! Find out what SCIAF
will do with the contents of your Wee Box this Lent - it all adds up.Fasting - prayer - almsgiving: make sure you get a bit of everything! Happy Lent!
This Saturday, 28th January, is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Thomas is patron saint of students and a powerful intercessor.
Across the Archdiocese at this time, many young people are preparing for and sitting prelim exams. They need your prayers, and those of St. Thomas! Please pray for them through his intercession in the coming days, and remember them especially on Saturday, his feast day.
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!Photo credit: Praying Hands by Flickr user joethorn, shared under Creative Commons licence.
Advent is the season during which we prepare to welcome God incarnate into our midst. This includes looking closely at our lives and those of our communities, and taking stock of our willingness to “prepare a way” and make a home for God-with-us. Each moment spent in reflection, each opportunity for prayer, adds a cloth to the cradle which stands ready for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.
It is not only the Lord for whom we must make space and prepare a welcome in our hearts and homes. Advent is a fitting time to reflect on how we do this for others in our families and parish communities. We meet Christ in one another through the Baptism we share and by which we are called beloved sons and daughters of the Father. We recognise in one another the spark of Faith which is to be fanned into flame, shining as a light into the darkness of our world.
Young people from the Archdiocese of Glasgow pilgrimage group relaxing at World Youth Day 2011
The Youth Pastoral Team invites you to consider especially how you do this for the young people in your family and parish. All of us need encouragement, need to be welcomed anew by others into the spaces which are our homes and parishes: young people are no different. All of us need to be challenged, need opportunities to grow in our Faith and share it with others: young people are no different. All of us are called to serve God and one another, discover our vocation and live it out with fidelity to the Gospel: young people are no different. When others, especially young people, are missing, we all lose out.
If today your light is dimmed, your cloths torn, your bonds of communion incomplete or strained, take the opportunity that Advent offers to prepare a way not only for the Lord, but for the young people in your family and parish. Prepare a way – to be surprised, enlivened, challenged, enriched, by the giftedness of young people around you. Ask yourself, and ask them, “how can I make you welcome?” Sometimes all it takes is a smile, an invitation, or a word of encouragement, for young people to be more present with us.
1.5 million young people await the arrival of the Holy Father to the prayer vigil at Cuatro Vientos, World Youth Day 2011
The Youth Pastoral Team is currently engaged in a period of consultation with the whole Archdiocese as to how we do this best, in order to plan effectively for the future of pastoral care of young people through diocesan initiatives. We ourselves have received much encouragement from parishes, schools, and young people alike as we travel around, hearing of their efforts to be more welcoming and open to each other. It is our task to collate these responses and reflect on our specific mission in service to the Archdiocese.
We ask that as you contribute to this discussion you also take the opportunity during Advent to reflect on the welcome you offer as an individual and as a parish. Call out again to prepare a way in the wilderness! Laying cloths of prayer and openness to one another we can offer the Lord a warm cradle in which to lay His head this Christmas.
[This article also appears in the Archdiocesan booklet "Journey through Advent", available from your parish!]