BY Daniel Harkins | January 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7b-Mishal

Giving Motherwell youth a renewed feeling of belonging to the Church

New efforts are underway in Motherwell to spread the light of Christ amongst young people with the reorganisation of youth activity in the diocese.

Last year, Bishop Joseph Toal created the Office for Mission and Evangelisation which brought together a number of different agencies in the diocese including the youth office, the Newmains pastoral centre and adult formation. As part of the restructure, a parish youth development worker has been appointed to work in local parishes in creating ‘hubs’ for young people and helping to create the evangelisers of tomorrow.

Mishal Francis (above), a 26-year-old parishioner of St Vincent De Paul Church in East Kilbride, will visit parishes in the diocese to work with young Catholics, spending 6-9 months in each parish she is invited to.

“It is about evangelising young people and developing their spirituality but ultimately it is just creating a parish hub where all the young people who go to school and university come back to,” Ms Francis said. “It’s creating that communication between the different things they are involved in but giving them that community they always come back to; giving them that sense of belonging to the Church and belonging to a community.”

A Masters graduate with a background in aeronautical engineering, Ms Francis came to Scotland from Pakistan as a teenager after her family were forced to leave the country due to persecution. “I always had to move from one parish to another but I always felt that sense of belonging with the Catholic Church,” she said. “No matter where I was in the world I was still part of this one big Church, one big community.”

She hopes now to spread that sense of community throughout the diocese, where young people, she has found from previous voluntary work in her parish, are ‘generally very enthusiastic.’

Fr Martin Delaney, chaplain to youth in Motherwell Diocese, said there was great excitement at the new changes. “Along with the creation of the new office, it certainly opens a new chapter in youth ministry in the diocese,” he said.

 

—daniel@sconews.co.uk

 

—This story ran in full in the January 29 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

 

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