A year of faith lived out at Animate

By Sarah Beatty

It has been another busy year here at Animate Youth Ministries.

Retreat days at Lowe House have proved as popular as ever with our Archdiocesan schools. In fact, over the course of the academic year we have welcomed most of our high schools, with each bringing between 25 and 60 pupils a day for the team to work with.

The purpose of these retreat days is for young people to have a positive experience of faith, and to enable them to explore different themes such as community, self-worth and social justice in a faith-based context.
Not only have we offered retreat days at Lowe House, we have also run retreat days in schools which has given the team more opportunities to spread the Good News to those around the Archdiocese and beyond.

We were also welcomed into four school communities for mission weeks. These are special weeks that present pupils and staff with the chance to delve deeper into their faith and to celebrate that faith throughout the week. We would like to thank the following schools for allowing us to live our Catholic faith with you all: All Hallows, Penwortham; Our Lady Queen of Peace, Skelmersdale; St Mary's, Leyland; and St Peter's, Orrell.        

We have also been blessed to work with 31 of our Catholic Primary schools during 2016/17. These days have been hugely enjoyable, not just for the youngsters but for us too! It is a real blessing and joy to work with so many of our Primary schools, to share our faith and to see them take on board the message imparted throughout the day.

Once again the Archdiocesan Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes is full this year, meaning 500 young people will travel from across the Archdiocese to Lourdes on Thursday 20 July. Please keep them in your prayers as they begin their week of pilgrimage and service.

The Faith in Action award was officially launched throughout the Archdiocese this year. There has been a fantastic uptake by the young people in our schools and parishes, as a result of which, over 400 young people will be rewarded for their acts of service and faith in awards ceremonies in September.

Life & Soul+, an evening of prayer and song before the Blessed Sacrament, has also had great support over the past few months. We would like to thank everyone who joined us at these events, as well as the parishes that hosted us. This initiative is something we are continuing next year – watch this space for details!

In summary, the community here at Animate has worked extremely hard in developing new resources for our retreat days and mission weeks, working with young people, leading groups and sharing our faith with young people and with each other. We have also had many laughs in our community time and learned from one another.

So it has been a great team to be part of. To Father Simon, Jan, Lauren, Tom, Mike and Ben – thank you for everything you have done!

Upcoming events:
2 July – Lourdes Departure Mass: 6.30pm, St Mary's, Lowe House
All are welcome to attend.