This month we're featuring: Youth 2000 Mission Team
Who is on it 2005?
What do they do?
Youth 2000 promotes, organises, and directs retreats based on the Gospel of St John, Chapter 6, “I am the Bread of Life”. The focus on the Eucharist shows young people that Christ must be at the center of their lives. The format of each retreat, which includes the Mass, the Sacrment of Reconciliation, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer, talks, music and fellowship, provides a means to help young people develop a deep and lasting personal relationship with Jesus Christ, especially in the Eucharist, “the source and summit of Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11).
The Mission Team is made up of a group of volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 who have given a year to dedicate to the evangelisation of the UK. Living a community life based around prayer and adoration, they travel the country helping with retreats and prayer festivals, running school missions and doing street evangelisation. Inspired by our Holy Father's words, they strive to be witnesses to the reality of Christ Jesus through their lives and work.
Their main work in the past few years has been in schools and colleges. They will spend anywhere between one day to a whole week in a school, hosting times of prayer and faith sharing for the various year groups.
They also have a program of Parish Missions, open to all ages. These missions will be held over a period of three to four days and will consist of prayer, meditation, personal testimony, the Mass and adoration. It will be a chance for the whole parish community to rediscover their faith and go even deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Why do they join?
Youth 2000 aims to help the young to grow spiritually and take their rightful place in the Church. This growth takes place through an experience of the love of God and prayer, and a sense of belonging, leading to a renewed faith in Christ and His Church. The greatest testimony to this is the young people themselves, who are at the heart of this initiative, and who offer what they have received to others of their generation.
What kind of reaction do they get from people?
Testimonies from the New Year Prayer Festival 2004 - 5:
"...I was blessed with so many gifts and blessings during the retreat. There were lots of things that I loved, but the best one was doing adoration throughout the night, as I don't spend much time doing this..." - Jackie
"...what a fantastic retreat New Year was! It was so good to spend time praising God! It has helped me put perspective on my vocational calling and I am looking forward to the next retreat! Well done Youth 2000!" - Emma
What do Mission Team members get out of it?
One mission team member writes:
'The Youth 2000 formation course has been a great help to me. I met some amazing people, learnt a lot and grew even more. This was a spiritual and mental growth, thanks to those that I was able to meet. Just hearing others within the group talk about the truth that is the Catholic faith, was enough to inspire and guide me. I no longer feel empty or lifeless. I am now very much alive and have been filled with the Holy Spirit. My life changed dramatically over such a short period of time and I am so blessed to have been given an opportunity like this.
Three months ago I would never have imagined that I'd choose to take part in a course that was to provide spiritual growth, to leave my family and friends behind, and to volunteer myself for it! But I did. Thank God! If it wasn't for Him I wouldn't have done it, because I now realise that he has chosen me, has hand picked me to take part, and has brought me, together with the rest of the participants, together for a reason'.
How do they feel it adds to the evangelisation work of the Church in England and Wales?
Team members would echo these words of the Holy Father:
“The Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelisation: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. Many have gone before us along this path of Gospel heroism, and I urge you to turn often to them to pray for their intercession”. JPII, WYD Message, para.20, Cologne 2005
For more information about joining the Mission Team please contact: Charlie Conner, PO Box 176, Leeds. LS17 9XU. Tel: 01937 579 700 Fax: 01937 570 701 Email: [email protected]
The residential formation course runs from 27th June - 24th July 2005 at Redcar Farm, Ampleforth, North Yorks. More details will be forthcoming on the Youth 2000 website which can be found at: www.youth2000.org