A new youth advisory body has been set up to “form and serve the Catholic Youth Ministry community in England and Wales.” The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) brings together Youth Service Directors, representatives from New Movements, Organisations and Religious Orders working nationally with young people, and Bishop Kieran Conry in his capacity as Bishop for Youth.
It was endorsed by the Bishops’ Conference at their Low Week Meeting in April 2009 and has now become an integral part of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis. At the recent November meeting of the Bishops of England and Wales, CYMFed was commended for its work to date.
Chair of CYMFed and Chaplain to the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, Fr Dominic Howarth said: “The wisdom and expertise gathered around the table at full CYMFed meetings is priceless. There are people working in urban and rural settings, and people with particular charisms from Orders like the Salesians and Movements like YCW and Youth 2000. The level and depth of people’s knowledge, coupled with the shared desire to move Catholic Youth Ministry forward in strong and purposeful ways, makes CYMFed a pleasure to be part of, and time well spent. CYMFed provides the opportunity to share good practice, fresh ideas, friendship and support, and there are also things that are possible when the whole Catholic Youth Ministry community work together that we cannot achieve alone.”
Bishop Kieran Conry said: “CYMFed is a great initiative, which the Bishops are very pleased to support. Working with CYMFed it is easy to see the hope, dynamism and purpose that are present in what we are offering for young people within the Church. Having CYMFed as our key advisers in this area means that the Bishops are directly in touch with those working with young people across the country, and this is an invaluable resource for us.”
CYMFed has already attracted a £9,000 grant to develop an online training programme for those working with young people at Parish, Deanery or Diocesan level in partnership with Ushaw College. The course will be modular, very accessible, and it is hoped launched in September 2010.
The new youth advisory body has also attracted internationally acclaimed speakers for the first Congress for Catholics working with young people, set to take place on February 27th 2010. “We have set our hope on the living God” will be headlined by Fr Timothy Radcliffe, Abbot Christopher Jamison, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Bob and Maggie McCarty. The McCartys have worked in Catholic Youth Ministry in America for over 25 years and Bob is President of the American equivalent of CYMFed, working with over 170 American Dioceses.
Bishop Kieran Conry
Fr Dominic Howarth