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Brothers seek 'spiritual accountability' in youth programs

The Christian Brothers have acted on survey findings that spiritual hunger evident in young people is not being met by the order's youth formation initiatives.

Youth leaders and volunteers who run programs such as the Edmund Rice Camps are being challenged and supported to work on their own spiritual and personal formation.

Br Kevin Ryan, Province Leader for WA and SA, wrote to Edmund Rice Camp staff and volunteers urging them to reflect on what they themselves have gained from the experience.

"So as you shared your skills, personality, energy and love what did you learn or gain from others?" he asked.

Br Ryan explained that Aboriginal people in Catholic Education in WA have previously recommended a method of "Two Way Learning" that included recognition that non-Indigenous and Indigenous people "have much to learn from each other".

His letter follows research the Christian Brothers have been conducting at a national level in search of a better understanding of the needs and aspirations of young people.

A year ago, National Formation Team head Peter Nicholson published a report titled Beyond the Comfort Zone. The report was based on an extensive consultation with young adults involved in the Edmund Rice Network throughout Australia. This paper followed a 2001 report, Put Out into the Deep, which identified the formation of Edmund Rice Camp leaders as an important issue for further consideration.

"This movement offers a unique opportunity to offer formation programs for young people... However personnel of the appropriate age and skill level are most difficult to find."

Raising the Bar: Christian Brothers issue a challenge to lay people working in Edmund Rice Ministries (Edmund Rice Network News Feb 2004)

Letter to Edmund Rice Camps WA and SA: The Edmund Rice Spirit at the Heart of the Camp Movements
Edmund Rice Camps
Beyond the Comfort Zone: A Consultation with Young Adults involved in the Edmund Rice Network throughout Australia - Peter Nicholson (Feb 03)
Edmund Rice Online

20 Feb 2004