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Introducing Catholic Youth Parramatta's
ELEMENTS


“Elements” is an online initiative by Catholic Youth Parramatta which offers content for youth ministers to use in their respective parishes, schools and movements. It will be distributed monthly.
We look forward to seeing how Elements grows with you. If you wish to discuss the content of this initiative further, contact Robyn on robyn.bailey@parracatholic.org.au
“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst … He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.”
St Teresa of Calcutta


Into The Desert

Welcome to March where we will begin the journey into the desert as we prepare our hearts and souls for the death and resurrection of Jesus in the season of Lent.

 When we hear the word ‘desert’, we might feel fearful that we might become isolated from our loved ones or even God. We might avoid going into a time of deep reflection as we might fear the unknown of what we might find within us or the temptations that might arise (Matthew 4:1-11). The Church instructs us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and to intentionally enter into a season of penance where “the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert” (CCC540). Days and seasons of penance, such as Lent, are intense moments of penitential practice which includes “spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, and voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving” (CCC1438). Broken down further, Lent is based on Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.

 Whilst we might settle into the thought that prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is an obligation, St Paul instructs that those actions completed without love are not highly regarded (1 Corinth 13). Let us enter the season of Lent with intentionality, reflection, and penance to wholeheartedly seek and follow Jesus by entering the desert.


Podcasts:

  • Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving - Catholic Influencers Fr Rob Galea Homilies - Spotify
    Fr Rob Galea leads us into a ‘service of the body’ to work on our holiness by exploring Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. 6:51 mins in length. 
     
  • Fasting - Catholic Influencers Podcast - Spotify
    Fr Rob Galea and Georga goes in depth into all things fasting and explores Mark 1:12-15.
  • Personal Holiness, Person Mission - Season 8 Episode 3 - Abiding Together - Spotify or Youtube
    This episode breaks down the idea of personal holiness and discusses the practicals on how to grow in holiness through surrender, fasting, and prayer. A great companion in the pursuit of holiness and growing towards an intimate union with God. Discussion questions and journal points available on Spotify Episode Description.

Videos:

  • How to Live This Lent for Others 
    Fr Mike Schmitz guides us into transforming ourselves through generosity. We desire to use Lent to give up noble and good things and discipline is a great virtue to acquire, but the next step is to become generous to our neighbours. 
     
  • Bishop Barron on the Three Essential Elements of the Church
    Bishop Barron explores the three essential elements of worshiping God, evangelisation, and serving the poor all of which are essential elements in the season of Lent. 
     
  • Your 40 Days in the Desert with Jesus 
    Dr Edward Sri leads us into the desert by explaining the connection between Jesus’ forty days of fasting to desert and the Jews forty years of wandering of the desert. The test of discipline and generosity can be daunting but Dr Edwards Sri breaks this test down simply for us to digest. 
     
  • Service to the Poor: A Friar Life
    This video is a reflection of Br. “DT”, OFM, at St. Anthony Foundation that serves hundreds and thousands of people per day. It explores a day in the life of a Friar who dedicates his daily life to the service to the poor. 

Blogs:

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSV)

 

Youth Group Activity Idea:

Stations of the Cross 

Stations of the Cross are commonly prayed on Fridays in remembrance of Jesus’ Passion during Lent. The Stations are a 14-step Catholic devotion which journeys from Jesus being condemned to death until He is laid in the Tomb.

CYP created a resource to assist youth groups to interact and reflect with the Stations. It includes an opening prayer, a reflection and prayer based on the station, and two song suggestions for the night.

There are several ways in which we can pray the Stations and we look forward to seeing how each youth group creatively does it. Most parishes have the stations along the Church’s wall or sometimes outside that you can meditate with by walking and looking at them. Adoration with candles could also be set up as a prayer focus for the night. If you are to include adoration, please consult with the Parish Priest on how best to run it.

Link to the resource:  https://parracatholic.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CYP-Reflections-on-the-Stations-of-the-Cross.pdf 

Saint of the Month: St John of God
Feast Day: 8th March
Patronage: Booksellers

St John of God was criticized by many people for embracing anyone who was in need, without questioning or hesitating. He was known in Granada for immediately acting when a hospital was ablaze, fell through the burning roof, and miraculously appeared out of the smoke. St John of God’s first hospital was the streets of Granada and he would beg for beds and carry patients on his shoulders. 

Saint John of God, help us to act out of love as soon as we feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Help us learn to fight the little voices in our heads and hearts that give us all sorts of practical reasons to wait or delay in our service to God. Amen.

St John of God, Pray for Us! 

LEARN MORE ABOUT ST JOHN OF GOD
Christus Vivit Podcast
Looking for some spiritual food to keep you nourished over Lent? Perhaps you have desired to read some of Pope Francis' exhortations and letters to the Church? 

CYP, with the help of many friends around the Diocese, launched a podcast exploring each of the chapters of Christus Vivit alongside a reflection guide. 

We look forward to praying and growing alongside you this Lent!
LISTEN HERE
March Devotion: St Joseph

The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of March to St Joseph. St Joseph is the perfect role model for men and is loved for his deep faith and heroic virtues of pious humility, chastity and holiness. As a Patron of the Universal Church, he is a role model for the interior of priests and the religious.  

Through the month of March, let us reflect on how we can practice virtuous living and pray for an increase in willingness to follow God’s call for our lives.

 

St Joseph, Pray for Us! Amen! 
DAILY PRAYERS TO ST JOSEPH
 
💥 NEW DIOCESAN YOUTH COUNCIL NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN 💥

For the first time, we're inviting YOU to nominate someone for consideration to represent the experiences and voices of the young people of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

- We're hoping for leaders who are currently involved in local youth ministry.

- Two leaders will be appointed to represent each deanery of the Diocese.

You can also nominate yourself by filling out the same form!

NOMINATIONS CLOSE 7 MARCH!

NOMINATE HERE!

Get Your Game On: Three in A Crowd 

Set Up: 

  • Music
  • Open area

Aim of the Game: 

  • To find something that three people have in common that isn’t the obvious hair/eye colour.

Method:

  • Get the group to split into groups of three people 
  • The group is to then find three things that they have in common such as: Favourite Holiday, movie they all recently watched, or tv series they are watching.
  • After a few minutes, one person introduces the group and shares those three things.
  • After all of the groups have introduced each other, play the music and repeat the process.
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Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, All rights reserved.


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Catholic Youth Parramatta – 470 Church Street, Parramatta, NSW, 2150

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