Next week, two New Zealanders will join hundreds of other young people in Rome as part of an international Youth Forum. The Youth Office of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is holding the International Youth Forum in Rome to carry forward the work of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment in 2018, which was attended by the Bishop of Hamilton, Bishop Steve Lowe.
Joey Bonnevie of the Auckland Diocese and Isabella McCafferty of the Wellington Archdiocese will fly to Rome this coming weekend to join the forum. About 250 youth from all over the world are expected to attend the June meeting, some of whom like Isabella, took part in the pre-synodal forum. Isabella and Joey work in youth ministry in their respective dioceses.
The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is focused on a Church for the young, promoting collaboration with youth and organising meetings on an international level. Those invited to the Forum have been asked to come prepared and to participate actively, so to be able to communicate and pass their experiences and messages on to others.
Isabella says, “It is envisaged that the June Forum will continue the work done to date towards outreach to the grassroots to nourish the future ministry of the church. I’m excited for the opportunity to again come together with other young people from all over the world and continue the work done by the Pope, Church leaders and the Dicastery.”
Twenty one New Zealanders attended the international celebration for 2019 World Youth Day (WYD2019) in Panama earlier this year, an event attended by thousands from around the world. Quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s Message to Young People, Pope Francis recently wrote, “Young people can offer the Church the beauty of youth by renewing her ability to rejoice with new beginnings, to give unreservedly of herself, to be renewed and to set out for ever greater accomplishments.”