One thing I have learnt through my involvement with Youth 2000 is that nothing works better than young people evangelising young people. This was how my own conversion happened. My parents could have told me any number of things about the Faith in an array of convincing ways, but for me, it was seeing other young people pray in front of the Eucharist that made me realise: “They have something I don’t have.”
This principle is something we are trying to introduce into our Confirmation programme this year. We have five eager young people in their late teens who are helping on the programme. They are great young people. Over the last few years they have received a lot of formation through the great work of our youth coordinator. They have been to Catholic Underground and Youth 2000 events in the parish and over the summer they went to World Youth Day in Madrid. And now they are contributing lots to evangelising the next generation of young people. They have offered to give their testimonies, and they are in charge of creating the all-important “atmosphere” (candles and music) for the prayer times. What a blessing! It shows that investing in youth ministry is more than worth it. As one of our catechists kindly pointed out, I am a “mummy” in the eyes of our thirteen-year-olds, so anything that the young people tell them is far more valuable than what I can teach them. Sad, perhaps, but true!