Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

Pope Francis wants to hear from you!

 Calling young Australians to be part of an international conversation

Young people (aged 16-29 years) are invited to participate in an international questionnaire aimed at providing them with the opportunity to communicate, express and recount who they are and what they want to say about themselves. The data from the Vatican survey will contribute directly to next year’s Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and will be the only international survey conducted.

You can participate in the survey until 31 December 2017 via the following link and select “English” as your language

Complete the Survey here and  let the Pope know your thoughts.

Prayer for Youth

Come Holy Spirit of this Great Southland
Inspire our entire faith community,
As we prayerfully discern new horizons for spreading joy
in the lives and communities of the People of God.
Come Holy Spirit of Youth
Fill the hearts of young people with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Enliven our community with the creativity, energy and joy of youth.
Guide us together, as we strive to offer God’s mercy to those who feel abandoned or outcast.
Come Holy Spirit of Faith
Empower our community to be courageous.
Unite your people as witnesses of love.
Walk with us, as we blaze new trails of discipleship,
Accompanying young people as we renew the Church together. 
Come Holy Spirit of Vocation
Stir within young people an awareness of God’s call.
Reveal to us the graces of young people.
Guide us all, in finding our place and raising our voices
To build a civilisation of love.  

Have Fun with our Youth

Pope Francis has announced that in October 2018 the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held, on the theme: “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”.

Describing the theme "as an expression of the Church’s pastoral concern for the young," the statement said the chosen topic follows on from the findings of the recent Synods on the family and the conclusions contained in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

It said by discussing this theme, "the Synod wishes to accompany young people along their existential journey towards maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they can discover their life plan and achieve it joyfully, opening themselves up to an encounter with God and humanity and actively taking part in the building of the Church and society.

The announcement from the Vatican can be found here.

ACYF 2017

The Australian Catholic Bishops recently approved a proposal from the Australian Catholic Youth Council to host a national Year of Youth in 2018.

The ACYF is a national gathering of Catholic young people.  It exists to provide young people with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia. 

The Archdiocese of Sydney is hosting the event from December 7th-9th 2017 on behalf of the ACBC. The Festival receives collaborative support from the agencies of the Archdiocese, and greater Sydney dioceses of Broken Bay, Parramatta and Wollongong. 

In December 2017 the Festival will launch the Year of Youth, celebrating ten years on from hosting World Youth Day 2008. 


The Australian Catholic Youth Festival exists to  

  • Provide a high quality formative and experiential opportunity for young Catholics to encounter Jesus Christ, in the context of the Catholic Church in Australia; 
  • Listen to and discuss the issues and challenges in the lives of young Catholics in Australia; 
  • Evangelise young people and empower them to be evangelisers; 
  • Provide young people with local examples and connections of vocations, social action, liturgy and prayer, catholic music and catechesis.

Year of Youth 2018

“We invite Catholics in Australia to celebrate a Year of Youth,  
from the beginning of Advent 2017 to the end of 2018"
 The Melbourne Archdiocese has begun planning for the Year of Youth, and an enthused group gathered on Oct 21, 2017 in Melbourne to focus on readying parishes for an energised year that promises to inspire and engage Australia's youth.  Melbourne Catholic has a fuller report of the day.
The Archdiocesan Office for Youth (AOY) has developed a resource to assist parishes to break open the theme of the Year of Youth, and to help them begin to plan how they can mark the Year of Youth at the local level. The Resource - The Year of Youth 2018 - can be found here.
It is a sad admission that Nazareth Parish does not have a Youth Group of any description but that is not to say there is no desire for one. If any young person, or any parent, would be interested in having some dialogue about the needs of our youth, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US and make your concerns known.  

"I was fuzzy and was silent" - Bishop Mark Edwards

It is not often that we see or hear a Bishop admitting that he is not sure about something! So it is very refreshing to read of Bishop Mark Edwards quandry in relation to the goals for the year of Youth. Read on and see what you think of his reflections.  {Yes we do have permission to publish these.]
"At the recent Archdiocesan Council of Priests (ACOP0 meeting, one of the priests mentioned that the goals for the Year of Youth were not clear to him. I was fuzzy on them myself and was silent. I have since researched and worked on understanding the goals.

There are four goals set out:
1. That Anointed and Sent  be (re)read by bishops, priests, pastoral councils, school leadership and youth leaders and discussed with a view to what they can do to implement it.
My reflection: This wonderful resource is relatively unknown even in the youth ministry world. Anointed and Sent focuses on “Why?” we engage in ministry with young people more than “How?”, offering a context for existing youth ministries and a rationale for establishing new ones. Eight areas that need to be focussed on in any ministry to young people are also addressed and these offer a check list to those supporting youth ministry to ensure that their work is leads to the holistic development of maturing disciples. I believe this document is also applicable to schools.
I will ask for the Curia to read this before a Curia meeting and discuss our reflections at the Curia meeting as a way of giving example to the Archdiocese.

2. Authentic and personal engagement by Church leaders in the challenges and successes in young people’s lives.
My reflection: This goal calls on all leaders to try to engage with young people: priests, teachers, people who work in CAM, parish council members and finance council members as well as bishops. The call is for these discussions to be (appropriately) personal and vulnerable. I picture a parish priest having dinner with perhaps eight young people, or some members of a finance council coming to a (youth group?) meeting to let young people to share their concerns and ask questions. I think that in all such meetings we need to do lots more listening than talking. For example, if a difficult topic is raised, to ask “Why do you ask that?”. In this way, we will be able to affirm the good that these questions are coming out of.

3. Acknowledging the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of young people and encouraging young people to act upon the impulse of the Holy Spirit.
My reflection: This will be (relatively) easy if we have listened deeply to young people by asking several questions on the same topic. There is a lot of good in our young people (and our culture): the desire for equality, for justice, for freedom and for love. We can easily affirm these – and then we can challenge our young people to live these truly by showing them the beauty of the Catholic understanding of true freedom, equality, love.

4. Ensuring a safe environment.
My reflection: This fits in very well with our current Archdiocesan wide drive to provide a safe place (physically, emotionally, spiritually) for our young and vulnerable. It asks us to internalise the Child Safe Training we received recently and to help make it a part of the culture of the Church.

If the goals of the YoY were not clear to members of ACOP and were not clear to me, I guess that there are a lot of other people in the Archdiocese who do not know what they are. I ask you to help others to encounter and understand these four goals."
Is there any possiblity that our parish could instigate some discussions?...or perhaps take up one point and work hard to inculturate it within our commnity life???