Jesuit hopes to increase youths in Church

Immaculate Conception Hawthorn parish priest Fr Des Dwyer SJ is leading a research project which hopes to engage more young people in the Church.

The study, which aims to solve the decline of youth involvement, is being conducted in conjunction with the Boroondara Deanery, Australian Catholic University and Monash University.

Fr Dwyer said he hopes to find ways to increase involvement in ministry among young people, Province Express reported.

"We have a view to develop a model which would be suitable in bringing the ministry of Catholic secondary schools, and parishes closer together," Fr Dwyer said.

Fr Dwyer believes Catholic schools are providing young people with opportunities to foster their faith, but rues their lack of connection with parishes.

Research shows there is "conspicuous absence" of young peopleaged from 15 to 30 who are not going to Mass or becoming involved in broader parish life

"We need to be more creative in bringing these different expressions of the church's ministry together," he said.

Fr Dwyer has worked with young people for many years, serving as a teacher for 26 years in Jesuit schools.

'We would like to involve young adults in the life of the church. Otherwise they finish up victims of consumerism, materialism, and secularism. That is not going to give them life or happiness," he said.

Fr Dwyer hopes that as part of the emerging model, a youth worker will be employed to oversee the interaction between the parishes and the schools.

Province Express - Fostering Faith, (03/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Immaculate Conception Hawthorn Parish
Australian Catholic University

Study affirms family influence on faith of young (CathNews, 04/04/06)
Wollongong youth demand spiritual formation (CathNews, 17/01/06)
It's not just schools - it's our culture (CathNews, 17/11/05)

19 Oct 2007