Pope Francis has often encouraged youth to see themselves as key to the revival of our Church and our world. Youth and youth leaders around the Diocese of Parramatta have a new, exciting opportunity to participate in renewal, with Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP) launching their new program, Duc in Altum.
Speaking to Catholic Outlook, CYP’s Manager Qwayne Guevara said the program arose out of a need for more faith enrichment opportunities for youth leaders in the Diocese. “In our conversations with youth over the past eighteen months”, she says, “there was a real desire for three key things: formation in leadership through practical youth ministry training; spaces to build community for youth leaders around the Diocese; and time to retreat, pray, and deepen their relationship with Jesus.”
The program offers an innovative response to these needs, through a year-long journey comprising leadership summits offering practical youth ministry training, retreats, and accompany groups bringing youth together. Describing it as “a pathway for leadership in youth ministry”, Qwayne says Duc in Altum will bring together both new and existing leaders, and those who are interested in deepening their faith through service. “Youth can expect opportunities to grow in friendship with other young people, find a sense of confidence in who they are and who God calls them to be”, she says.
Qwayne says the name Duc in Altum, or “go out into the deep”, reflects both Bishop Vincent’s motto and the reality of youth leadership. “Sometimes youth ministry can seem like a very big endeavour, especially in the culture we have today and the struggles of the pandemic. The name Duc in Altum symbolises the courage it takes to step out, just like Peter did.”
For Qwayne and her team, the hope is that the program “reignites a flame in young people for service, mission and ministry in the Church and in the world.” Acknowledging that there are many things that can discourage youth from service, Qwayne says that community and opportunities for enrichment can bring about renewal, joy and hope.
She also hopes Duc in Altum will provide a strong faith and leadership formation opportunity for youth. “A lot of young people have moved from youth ministry into their respective careers, and many have shared how much youth ministry has given them the tools to navigate life outside youth ministry. We hope and pray this program will reignite youth in the Diocese, equip them with the leadership skills they need to navigate the world, and to be a real and authentic witness to the Gospel wherever they are and wherever they may be led after youth ministry.”
The first Leadership Summit of the Duc in Altum program will be held on January 29, 2022 at Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown. More details can be found here.
To find out more about the program, or to register, please click here.