On Tuesday night of September 30th, 2014, over 80 people packed into the Archdiocese of Montreal at 2000 Sherbrooke Street West for Mission Jeunesse-Youth Ministry’s launch of the 2014-2015 pastoral year.
The evening started with a challenge from Mission Jeunesse-Youth Ministry director Isabel Correa: "Young people today communicate through Facebook statuses and tweets in 400 characters or less. I invite you to do the same while introducing yourselves and sharing one bit of good news from your community".
The introductions that followed were as diverse as they were numerous; youth ministers and catechists came together from all over the island, and from various communities and movements.
During the evening, Archbishop Christian Lépine was also present to address the assembly and proposed reflection on the pastoral challenges of our times concerning young people and the Church of Montreal, as a whole. He brought up the isolation felt by some parishes and communities, who, though fervent in their faith, are oftentimes left with the impression that there is no one with whom they can share the beauty of that faith.
The Archbishop, therefore, encouraged the Youth Ministry leaders to go out, like Mary after the Annunciation, and encounter other communities, to step out of their isolation and recognize that they are not alone in the mission of evangelization.
These Youth Ministry Leader Gatherings are an important way that the Mission Jeunesse-Youth Ministry coordination team helps to encourage and accomplish that goal.
Afterward, the MJ-Youth Ministry Team continued by presenting projects for the upcoming year, including a few of the following:
- Duc In Altum (Avance au Large in French), a series of discernment retreats (8 over the course of one year) which young people aged 18-35 commit to in order to deepen their understanding of their faith and their relationship with God.
- Diocesan World Youth Day, a large diocesan-wide youth festival and Palm Sunday mass celebrated annually. The event hosted over 700 young people last year.
- International World Youth Day, an international gathering of young people by invitation of the Pope. The next edition will be in 2016 and will be hosted by the city of Krakow in Poland.
Pre-registration for groups begins November 29th, 2014.
- ALLEZ!GO!, a series of leadership formations for Youth Ministers and WYD Group Leaders that will take place over the next two years as part of the preparation for International World Youth day. They are compulsory for WYD group leaders and completely open to the public as the courses address the needs of youth ministry in general.
Additionally, certain groups belonging to the MJ Network came to propose their projects;
- Grand Seminary of Montreal hosting their 175th anniversary next year, who will be hosting a weekend for youth as part of their celebrations. Their website with the 175th announcement: http://www.gsdm.qc.ca/index.php
- The Choeur de Jerusalem is hosting four Kumbaya praise and worship events at the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement between November and May. They are also inviting other groups to be part of the planning process.
- Centre PRI will be offering a few retreats to religious communities including a silent retreat at the Cistercian Abbey in March.
- The Communauté Basile-Moreau has begun hosting its café-trottoir event, where they will be going out to serve food to the homeless.