WORLD YOUTH SUNDAY – 26 November 2023
This weekend parishes across the diocese will be hearing this appeal from young people who belong to the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service:
As well as being the Feast of Christ the King, this weekend is also World Youth Sunday, and the theme this year is “Come and See”. During World Youth Day, which took place in Lisbon this summer, Pope Francis said: “Jesus never closes the door, never, but invites you to enter: come and see.”
This same invitation, to come and see, is echoed by the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, by providing opportunities for young people to be active in their faith and in the life of the Church. Pope Francis stressed the importance of welcome and that there is a place for each of us – the BCYS offers that same welcome to all the young people across the diocese.
This summer around 170 young people and leaders travelled with the BCYS, either to Lourdes or to World Youth Day in Lisbon. Both of these pilgrimages were filled with joy, faith and hope. For many this was their first time travelling with the BCYS, they responded to the invitation to ‘come and see’, and in doing so they made new friends, spent time serving others and most importantly time to strengthen and deepen their faith.
In March, a group of almost 1,000 people from our schools and parishes attended Flame at Wembley Arena, making up part of a gathering of 8,000 young Catholics from across the country. It was a day of music, talks and prayer – the atmosphere and energy within the arena was incredible, it was an uplifting day and one full of hope.
Last month, at the end of October, 120 young people and leaders attended the annual ‘Youth Gather’ at Essex Outdoors on Mersea Island, a mixed weekend of exciting activities like zip wire and archery, as well as inspiring workshops, times of prayer and adoration.
The BCYS also run other regular events:
- a monthly Youth Mass on the first Thursday of every month at Brentwood Cathedral, beginning with a workshop or input along with refreshments before gathering in the Cathedral to celebrate Mass;
- the Rite of Acceptance for those young people being confirmed in their parishes at Pentecost;
- training days for Catechists;
- regular formation and networking sessions with school chaplains, and all of this alongside our beautiful Diocesan Youth retreat centre ‘Walsingham House at Abbotswick’.
The BCYS aim to support young people to be active in their faith and become young leaders in the Church – and we need your help. Any money you give will make real difference, going directly to training young leaders, providing new equipment, and helping to provide bursaries so no-one in financial hardship misses out.
World Youth Day is a unique opportunity to celebrate the role and significance of young people in the Catholic Church. Please do continue to pray for the work of the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service and Walsingham House, for all young people and those who work with them.
To donate online, please visit www.bcys.net/donate