Working with the youth in the parish

​When our Lord showed himself to the Eleven after his resurrection he said to them, “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.” (Mark 16:6). This message is addressed to each one of us, the baptized, to go out and do apostolate in any surroundings we happen to be in with our families, our workplace, in our social relationships etc.

Personal testimonies
Opus Dei - Working with the youth in the parish

A parish is one of the fertile grounds to do apostolate. Here, you observe that there is a particular need with different categories of people. At my parish, St. Peter’s Nsambya in Uganda, one can see many refugees from neighbouring countries struggling socially, economically and spiritually. Then there are those Catholics who had Catechism classes a long time ago and need to be reminded of many things; then the young people who need direction. The list is endless.

A group of us got together and we started working with the refugees but later on we zeroed in on young people with the target group between the ages of 18 and 35. The reason for targeting this category was because we observed that many young people come to Church as a routine; many join Church choirs and others join youth activities but with no clear vision.

I approached the parish priest and expressed our interest in helping with the formation of the youth by conducting sessions on virtues and Catholic doctrine. He listened very carefully and said that he was very aware of the need for this at the parish. He was very grateful for the offer and gave us a full go ahead. He advised us to approach the youth chaplain so that we could work hand in hand.

The youth chaplain was very thankful for our offer to help in the parish. He introduced us to the youth leaders of the parish. We met the youth leaders and we told them that the activities we would be conducting would give the youth human and spiritual formation based on Catholic doctrine and on virtues. This would enable them to live their ordinary life as Christians with strength of character and confidence. We asked them to mobilize the youth whenever we had this activity.

They were very enthusiastic and when the head of the youth was giving a vote of thanks he said the activities we were to hold were exactly what they always wanted. He suggested to us that we give them a talk of 30 minutes every week for they meet weekly. They also suggested we take the same programme to the sub-parishes.

We have also had an activity which was a fashion event. This was to highlight the virtues of modesty and decency and also a human touch of elegance and image.

We intend to have such activities as human relationships highlighting courtship and marriage; leisure and money matters with emphasis on the virtue of temperance; caring for the elderly/the needy and the sick highlighting the virtue of charity and a lot more.

A programme has been organized to fit in our activities with those of the parish so that we work in harmony.