Bishop's Message

2018: Celebrating the Year of Youth in the Diocese of Darwin

In a letter to the young people of the world Pope Francis said, "I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart."

Recently he said, "Every young person has something to say to others; something to say to adults, something to say to priests, to sisters, to the bishops and to the Pope.  We all need to listen to you."

On November 14 last year THE YEAR OF YOUTH for our diocese, during the Rex Band Concert was launched.

How can we celebrate this year in our diocese?

I ask that we set up LISTENING POSTS all around the diocese.

We need to listen to young people in our families, in our schools, in our parishes, in special groups and indeed at the diocesan level.

There are a myriad of ways in which young people communicate with each other, and the world around them.  We must be listening to the voices of young people, however they might want to communicate  This is an urgent and timely moment of grace for our diocese.

I am asking each of our agencies to arrange LISTENING POSTS.

It is important that these opportunities to LISTEN be properly planned and they must be an absolute priority for all of us this year.

So often we feel that we need to tell young people about everything, and of course that has its place.

Now, however, is the time for us to LISTEN; to their questions, to their needs, to their hopes and dreams, to their wisdom and their fears.

We don't have to have answers to everything, but we do need to listen carefully, with our ears and with the ears of our heart.

As a way of building a picture of what's happening throughout the diocese, I want each of our agencies, and each parish to report to the Chancery office the outline of their plan for the year.

It will be important to receive these plans as soon as they are completed.

This office will summarise the various ways that we are listening to young people around the diocese, and distribute the summary to each parish, school and agency, so that we can gauge the level of engagement and plan further ways of listening to young people.

It is my intention to make this a priority for my work this year.  Please let me know in what ways I can listen to young people in your parish, school or group.

I pray that 2018 will be filled with the grace of our loving God.

In Christ,

Bishop Eugene Hurley.