Wgtn conference to look at ministry to youth and families

Chris Duthie-Jung


Pope Francis is calling for us all to rethink the way we go about evangelising in our respective communities. Under his leadership, the Church is specifically addressing issues of ministry with families, marriage and young people. 

This year, two agencies of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference — The Catholic Network of Marriage Educators (CNME) and the Council for Young People — have joined forces to take a fresh and creative approach to their national gatherings and will address some of these concerns at a joint conference in April.

Takirua 2020: Shaping the Vision, will see hundreds of Catholic pastoral ministers come together in Wellington to explore several ministry topics specifically about these issues. The conference will run from Friday evening April 24, to noon Sunday, April 26, 2020.

From Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel, 2013), to Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love, 2016), to Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive, 2019), Pope Francis’ vision of the centrality of family, marriage and care of the young to the contemporary mission of the Church emerges. 

The links between evangelisation — the presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ — and family life, marriage and the formation of young people, are of real concern to those of us working in pastoral ministry roles. 

The combined conference will allow us to listen to the realities and experience of those working on the ground in Catholic pastoral ministry. Within the context of the family/whānau, the conversation will tackle head-on some of the main challenges we face in our secular, yet pluralist, south Pacific country. 

Takirua 2020 will bring together a broad range of innovative ideas and practical tools to both equip and challenge those involved in contemporary Catholic pastoral ministry and marriage education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Takirua 2020 will incorporate (at least) two previously separate strands of ministry. Aided by guest observations from Australia and the United States, the conference will focus on our local realities — what New Zealanders are facing in our ministries today. 

Beyond Marriage and Young Church Ministries, other ministry groups are warmly invited to join in the event and add their wisdom and experience. Please make sure you are involved in these very important conversations in the life of our Catholic Church here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Conference details are available online at www.takirua2020.nz and early bird registration is now open.

Dr Chris Duthie-Jung is director of Family and Young Church Ministries in Wellington archdiocese. This article was originally published in Wel-com, newspaper of Wellington archdiocese and Palmerston North diocese. It is republished here with permission. 

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