Page 3 - Unity Edn 34
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                                                             Listen to young

                                                                        people -

                                                                the Church of


                t is curious how we often refer to young people   This is a  precious opportunity to listen to the
                as ‘the Church of the future’.  Does this infer   Holy Spirit through the voices and the insights of
             Ithat we do not regard young people as part of     young people.
             the Church of the here and now? This term, 'the
             Church  of  the  future'  expresses  our  aspirations   Speaking to young people throughout the world,
             for the future, and in no way suggests that the    Pope Francis said, “A better world can be built also
             young are not ready or mature enough to be vital   as a result of your efforts, your desire to change
             participants in the life of the Church of today.   and  your  generosity.  Do  not  be  afraid  to  listen
                                                                to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not
             In fact,  for  those  of  us who have the  privilege   delay when your conscience asks you to take risks
             of working with, and listening to, young people,   in following the Master. The Church also wishes
             we are  blown away by  their  participation, their   to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your
             vitality and their vision.                         faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make
                                                                your voice heard, let it resonate in communities
                                                                and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”
             I  am  reminded  that  this  year  is  the  tenth
             anniversary of the World Youth Day held in Sydney.
             We were all so proud of those young people from    At the  end  of  last year  the Bishops  hosted  the
             all around the world who showcased everything      National  Youth  Festival  in  Sydney.  There  were
             good about the Catholic faith. Certainly they are   about 20,000 young people there for three days.
             all ten years older now, but they were as much a   It  was  brilliant  in  every  way:  it  was  prayerful,
             part of the Church then, as they are now.          fun, engaging and inspiring. Each of the Bishops
                                                                present had busy days listening to young people,
                                                                answering  their  questions  and  engaging  with
             Pope Francis has called a Synod in Rome on the     their passion for the Church. All the Bishops came
             topic of young people.                             away renewed and inspired by the experience.
             Talking to young people he said, “I wanted you
             to be the centre of attention, because you are in
             my heart.”                                         We  need  to  repeat  this  experience  throughout
                                                                our Diocese.
             Recently the Pope said, “Every young person has
             something to say to others; something to say to    It  seems  to me  that  young  people  have  a  less
             adults, something to say to priests, to sisters, to   cluttered heart and a less fragmented view of life.
             the bishops and to the Pope. We all need to listen
             to you.”                                           They  are  idealistic  ……….  would that  we might
                                                                learn from them.
             Pope Francis wants us to listen carefully to young
             people. Often we feel that we need to share our    God bless,
             wisdom and  our  knowledge with  young  people,
             and that is perfectly proper; however we are now
             asked to recognise that young people have much
             to offer us.                                       Bishop Eugene Hurley

             I launched the ‘Year of Youth’ for our Diocese at
             the end of last year at the big Rex Concert here
             in Darwin.  I have asked all our parishes, schools
             and  other  agencies  to  set  up  formal  ‘listening
             posts’  whereby  we  have  dedicated  programme
             opportunities to carefully listen to young people.

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