Newcastle offers "Gradpack" to Gen Y graduates

In a novel bid to develop links with Generation Y, Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone has written to congratulate Catholic high school graduates on their academic results as part of a "Gradpack" inviting them to find ways to participate in the Church.

As they receive their HSC results, 1001 local Catholic school graduates from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, the Hunter and Manning regions will find an unexpected package in their mail, according to a statement from the diocese.

Writing to the 2006 Year 12 graduates, Bishop Malone thanks them for their contribution to the life of the diocese and encourages them to find new ways to participate in the church.

The "GradPack" contains a range of brochures and flyers highlighting activities and services in the diocese and beyond especially tailored to the needs and interests of young people.

The brainchild of Mrs Teresa Brierley, Vice Chancellor for Pastoral Ministries in the diocese, the GradPack has been sent to graduates from St Clare's Taree, St Joseph's Aberdeen, St Catherine's Catholic College Singleton, All Saints College, Maitland, St Francis Xavier's College Hamilton and St Paul's High School, Booragul.

"We know that many young people can sometimes feel alienated from the rituals of the church. But we also know that they have a strong sense of social justice and a commitment to making a difference in their world. They often have a deep sense of spirituality which they wish to express, a need to find connections and a sense of belonging. We hope the GradPack enables them to find connections with the church in whatever ways best meet their needs," Mrs Brierley said.

The GradPack is one of a series of initiatives to encourage young people to participate in the life of the diocese. Mrs Brierley acknowledges that the issues, needs and lifestyles of Generation Y (born between 1976 and 1990) pose a significant challenge for religious organisations who wish to engage young people in their life and mission.

Bishop Michael Malone says he has been especially impressed with the faith, personal integrity and commitment to social justice which he has encountered in the students.

"While they will no longer be participating in the life and mission of the diocese through their school, I very much hope that they will remain part of our community, sharing their valuable gifts, talents, interests and perspectives with us. The church needs the energy, commitment and enthusiasm that young people bring."

New Initiative for Local Catholic HSC Graduates (Media Release, Maitland-Newcastle diocese)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Maitland-Newcastle diocese

Gen Y on a mission, study finds (3/8/06)
Generation Y embracing mix and match religion (CathNews, 13/4/05)

21 Dec 2006