In 2012, the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference produced ‘Called to a Noble Adventure: A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry in England and Wales’.
This document sets out four goals to inspire a vision for youth ministry which fosters and nurtures young people, calls them to discipleship, enables them to participate in the life of the Church and sends them as prophetic witnesses into the world.
Youth ministry fosters the complete personal and spiritual growth of each young person, acknowledging the specific needs of young people in our society.
Youth ministry calls young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today, rooted in the living tradition of our Church.
Youth ministry enables young people to participate fully in the life of the Catholic community, recognising the intrinsic value of youth and all that it has to offer to the Church.
Youth ministry sends young people out as prophetic witnesses of Christ, calling the world and the Church to a renewal of faith, hope and love.
It provides a framework rather than a programme calling the whole community to have a role in this endeavour and to recognise that ‘youth ministry is not an optional extra, but rather an integral strategy at every level of the Catholic community: local, diocesan and national.’ (5)
The document takes its title from the words of Pope John Paul II:
‘This is what we need: a Church for young people which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist; a Church which will know how to invite and welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit his or her life; a Church which is not afraid to ask much after having given much; which does not fear asking from the young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as following the Gospel.’
(Pope John Paul II, World Day of prayer for Vocation, 1995)