By Laurel Lanner | Posted: Tuesday July 4, 2017
You are not Alone!
Being a young Catholic at the bottom of the world can feel like an isolated experience. Despite being part of a Catholic school community, at first glance, the opportunities to get together with other young people on the same faith journey may seem limited. It is hard for young Dunedin students, who may have rarely travelled outside the South Island, to comprehend that there is a big Catholic world out there where being a young Catholic doesn’t make you a rare species.
Of course, there are ways to get together with others locally of which you may not be aware. At the moment, there are five youth groups operating in the Dunedin area: Zeal in North Dunedin (contact Mark Currie, 021 124 0497), Ignite in South Dunedin (contact Jo Bell, 021 231 8889) and Amplify in the Hill Suburbs (contact Elizabeth Schonwald, 4535026), Youth for Christ (contact the school for more details) and the Samoan Catholic Youth Group (contact Theresa Su’a, 027 874 6353).
There are also one-off and regular gathering opportunities further afield, for example the World Youth Day trip to Christchurch last year and the regular Hearts Aflame and Jesus for Real Camps. This year on 2-3rd December there is the Aotearoa Catholic Youth Festival. The organisers have managed to score one of the biggest names in contemporary Catholic music, Matt Maher, for this event. It is aimed at the 15 + age group although younger people are encouraged to go with their families. The Diocese is asking for expressions of interest at the moment to see if we can get together to go. If you are interested in finding out more about this, go to http://www.catholicyouthfestival.nz/ , the Dunedin Young Catholics Facebook page or http://www.cdd.org.nz/young-people/ .
Of course, the biggest youth event of all is World Youth Day which will next be in Panama on the last week of January 2019. If you (or your child) is in Year 11 or older now and think this maybe something that you would like to be part of, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.