DIOCESAN YOUTH VISION:
Towards a caring and self-supportive Diocese committed to the Holistic Evangelization and Development of the Youth in a coordinated pastoral plan of action with one commonly shared vision.
Inspired by its Episcopal Motto, the Diocese of Queenstown, aware that it is a family of God, modeled on that family that waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle with the Virgin Mary in its midst, commits itself to preparing in the hearts of its youth the ground for the work of the Holy Spirit. With the power of the Spirit, the Evangelized and Evangelizing youth will become a factor of integral development in the Church and in the world.
Actual Situation: The main problems of the Catholic youth are:
1. Lack of basic education
2. Lack of adequate Christian instruction
3. Lack of adequate Biblical formation
4. Lack of psychological formation
5. Lack of proper guidance and counseling
6. Lack of Cultural formation in line with the modern world
7. Lack of motivation and goal in life
8. Exposure to immoral information
9. Exposure to Fellowship and Pentecostal Churches
10. Exposure to all forms of abuse: sexual, labour, early marriages, public and family violence, etc
11. Delinquency, criminal gangs, prostitution, alcohol abuse, etc
12. Unemployment, poverty, emigration etc
13. Diseases and most especially HIV/AIDS
In view of the situation mentioned above, Queenstown Diocese has decided to embark on a process of integral development for the youth in order to ensure their spiritual, physical, emotional, socio-political, economic and intellectual growth.
Diocesan Youth Policy:
In dealing with the youth, we shall use the Midwife Method and Teamwork: When a woman goes into the labor ward, she finds the midwife who uses her skills to ensure a safe birth. The midwife is only a helper; the main actors are the mother and the baby. In the Youth Ministry, the pastoral workers and the adult supporters, far from being domineering figures, are there to help the youth grow, to accompany them on their journey and to create the atmosphere for a smooth passage to adulthood.
The Youth Ministry will be coordinated through a team of Pastoral Workers at all levels. This will help the Ministry to draw support and expertise from various backgrounds and environments. It will also empower young people to train their fellow youths since they know each other better than pastoral agents do.
Collaborators: Apart from Priests, Sisters, Brothers and seminarians, we have Leaders and Facilitators.
* Due to the fact that in this Province of the Eastern Cape where Queenstown Diocese is situated, young people are often on the move, i.e. they flock from rural areas to cities for jobs and better life, the Youth Ministry needs stable leaders. These should be strong and committed adult supporters whose main role is to pass on the information, culture and tradition of the Youth Ministry in Queenstown Diocese from one generation to the next. These should be Christians of good moral standing, employed within the Diocese as teachers, nurses, social workers etc.
* Facilitators are people in different Parishes within the Diocese trained in youth programs. Their work is to train youth leaders who in turn will train the youth at Parish or Deanery levels. These will form a team of facilitators at deanery level. The members of this team will also help to visit families of the youth so that the parents may in some way participate in the animation of their children or at least get to know the people in whose care they entrust their children.
Means: These are mainly offices at all levels, events and programs.
1. The Diocesan Youth Desk for coordinating, networking and keeping contact with Deaneries and teams of Youth facilitators from Deaneries and all the Youth Councils.
2. The Deanery Youth Desk for coordinating and keeping into contact with Pastoral Workers, schools and facilitators from Parishes.
3. The Parish Youth Desk for implementing Diocesan programs at the grassroots level among the youth.
1. Diocesan Youth Events: where the youth from the entire Diocese meet their Bishop at least once or twice a year usually at the end of the year as a climax of the Youth activities in the Diocese. The details can vary from year to year: music festival, games, cultural festival, retreat, workshops but always ending with Holy Mass. etc. The Annual General Meeting of Youth Leaders and coordinators for evaluation and planning can follow this Event, preferably at the end of the year.
2. Deanery Youth Events: where the youth of the Deanery meet their together more often. Like the Diocesan one, the details can vary from time to time according to their year plan.
3. Parish Youth Events: these can be more frequent depending on the needs of the youth of each Parish.
NB. Events at all levels should be sent to relevant offices and persons before the new year begins so that the people concerned may know and prepare themselves adequately.
Programs: The programs are meant to cater for the five pillars of growth namely:
1. Spiritual Formation: Retreats, Youth Masses, Bible and healing sessions, spiritual talks etc.
2. Psychological Formation: Workshops on sexuality, emotional growth, self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-esteem, empowerment etc.
3. Physical Formation: Work, hygiene, health issues, sports, environmental protection etc
4. Intellectual Formation: Use of the Media, discussions and debates on burning issues, quiz competitions between schools or youth groups, sessions on the cultures of the different ethnic groups in the diocese, etc
5. Socio-political Formation: Community building activities, sessions on the promotion of cultural values, justice and peace issues, community development, social problems etc.
NB. This program is meant for implementation in Parishes and Deanery and Diocesan level. It implies engaging skilled people, use of visual aids, books and all the resources available. The formation of Youth Leaders is of paramount importance.