Brief Background information.
The spill over effects of the Bougainville crises and the social unrest on Guadalcanal – Solomon Islands, became the driving force that prompted the then Bishop of Gizo – Most Rev. Bernard O’Grady OP to establish the office of Youth and followed by the appointment of a Diocesan Youth Coordinator –Mr. Joseph Lalaubatu in early 2001. Sincere thanks to our Bishop for seeing the need of our youths.
Bishop’s great concern was the involvement of many youths in these crises and subsequent violent and victimizing effects that have on most youths and their communities. As Bishop, he knows that he has a responsibility of love and pastoral care for the Spiritual and social well being of our Catholic Youths through the creation of the youth office.
Shown here is the Gizo Youth team
Present Situation.The establishment of this Diocesan Youth Office is to coordinate, facilitate and make available necessary trainings, activities and resources for our Catholic Youths in the Diocese. The overall aim is to integrate the various activities targeting youths in a holistic approach that is spiritually, intellectually, socially, culturally and economically.
Since then, youths have been very much involved in a lot of community, Parish and Diocesan programs and activities. The impact of various youth program implemented in the last six (6) years on the lives of our youths is one of Spiritual recognition, Community awareness and Youth personal involvement in the Church, youth related activities and issues of common concern in the Diocese. Thus, these aspects of youth issues awaken our Community and Church leaders to pay more attention to the needs and aspirations of our young people. Youths themselves were also aware of their God-given gifts of service for the community and the challenges ahead.
Sport is one way to bring Youth together
Presently, we have more than 10,000 Catholics in the Diocese, of which more than half are youths. A total of 27 youth groups were formed in the five (5) Parishes of the Diocese. We also started Campus Youth ministry in the Secondary Schools with the help of parish Priests and Teachers.
To effectively coordinate and implement the organization’s formation and the consistency of program activities is a great challenge, due to the geographical & isolated location of the Parishes in the Diocese. Transport and communication are very much needed as islands were scattered from each other.
Youth load rice for Tsunami victims
Finally, I sincerely thank the then Auxiliary Bishop of Gizo, now Bishop of Auki – the Most. Rev. Christopher Cardone OP as our vicar who was very instrumental in the formation, organization and mobilizing of our youths in the Diocese. Thanking you for your great support, patience and understanding.
Youth, Media & Renewal Program Coordinator
Diocese of Gizo.