St. Joseph's Takapuna Parish - Youth Ministry 2020

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St. Joseph’s Takapuna Parish Youth Ministry in 2020

“It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity” Pope Francis’ urbi et orbi

Contents Year Summary Meet the Team 2020 Life Teen Summer Camp 2020 Kick-Off Night Youth Activities Youth Mass Year 13 Leaders Core Team Retreat Dessert & Dancing: Great Gatsby Regional Activities

Romwell Ramos

Youth Minister / Media Lead

Here we are again, at the end of another youthful year where we have to reflect over the things that’s happened. The biggest elephant in the room would obviously be having to do ministry in a pandemic. The challenges it provided were significant and I would admit it has affected me in how I was able to serve this year. Despite that, the addition of a more cohesive Core Team assisted in running a smooth and functional ministry virtually; which I believe provides so many opportunities to better connect with our Youth and we’ll continue to explore the use of online Life Nights over the years to come.

into lockdown, put strain on the structure, we hope to run it back and make improvements along the way.

This was the first time, we were able to run the Life Teen programme for a full year, which in my perspective, has been greatly beneficial and that is evident in how we look at relational ministry and how we are nurturing our Youth for a sustainable ministry. The mission next year depends on how we continue to build the culture of faith and to connect more with the two colleges near us.

Last year, we were really blessed to have had the opportunity to host Youth Masses on the Third Sunday of each month for a full year. This year though, we obviously had to cancel some and our Year 13’s missed the chance to lead. They did take full advantage of the last three months to serve - so hats off to them!

To start of the year, we went down to a summer camp in Wellington. I can’t share enough how much we appreciate the support we continue to receive from the parish community. For this camp we were able to raise $2,500+ to send 12 young people. Not only that, but we were able to bring along a young person from Panguru - I tell you, Panguru! For this year we ran a fortnightly schedule which were consistent and spaced out to allow us (uni students) breathing room for social activities and not put burden on our schedules. Along with this plan, we had seasonal semesters that fit the school terms. This gave us structure but better suited the schedule of many of our young people. Which then during the holidays, we would only run social nights. This turned to be helpful as it put structure and organized that term really well. Obviously the uncertainty of going back

Relational Ministry is another aspect that we have been slowly putting emphasis on. We’ve realized that the support of the parents is just as important as getting the youth to join. This year alone, we created a database of all contacts so that it is easier to get in touch with parents and with our Youth. It is not complete yet but most probably throughout next year our aim is to fill that up which would be passed down for the next set of leaders

This year alone, despite the pandemic, we were able to meet new people and run events with the intention to bring people closer to Christ. We were able to create opportunities this year for our young people which hopefully continues to inspire more of our Youth. And all this is only one year - please continue to keep our Youth Ministry in your prayers (like legit we need it). As a parish we are very blessed to be surrounded by dedicated and faithful leaders - leaders who are in this ministry in a voluntary role! It takes a certain kind of character to realize that there is something bigger than life, serving people and self-sacrfice goes along a way in the lives of others. As for me I’ll continue to do what I’m best at which is to bring joy to those that I encounter. I’ll continue to serve in this ministry whether I’m here in St. Joseph’s Takapuna or a place I’m not familiar with, simply because that’s what God calls me to do. Fiat, yes, amen!


Patrikk Colita

Gabrielle Dsouza

Daniel Fraser

Mary Bond

Yeji Kim

Justin Bayangos

Joselle Vicente

Mark Napa

Steve Fraser

Christian Flores

Randall Ramos

Sue Fraser

Fr. Carlo Cruz

Genevieve Joyce

Huynh Dan Thuy

Josh Pereira

LIFE TEEN SUMMER CAMP 2020 at Forest Lakes, Otaki

January 13-18

Some of our photos from Summer Camp which captures the energy and the people we were with. What an experience!

Source: Life Teen Summer Camp Aotearoa

In the summer of 2020, we were blessed enough to have sent a total of 22 campers to the Life Teen Summer Camp down in Otaki, Wellington. Going from last year’s numbers that is an increase of 16 people! Now the journey there was a long one; having to reassure parents and this being one of the biggest things we’ve planned, the expectations were quite high. Not including, the financial stakes that followed along planning a trip like this. The theme of the camp followed Mary’s FIAT, her YES. There was one specific moment on the way to the camp where I shared to the group about my experience having gone to Panama. I told them to take advantage of an experience like this; to also give their yes and to be fully present in this time. The activites included daily prayer, adoration, team-building exercises, the famous ‘Messy Games’ that followed colored powder. The whole experience is unforgettable and I have no doubt all of the attendees had a great time.

12 Youth 4 Chaperones 6 Missionaries

Our 6 Missionaries (Randall Ramos, Genevieve Joyce, Justin Bayangos, Joselle Vicente, Josh Pereira & Ivan Yu) each took a different role at camp from AV or Worship to Small Group leaders. These missionaries assisted in allowing us attendees to have an amazing experience in Summer Camp. The chaperones (Sue Fraser, Romwell Ramos, Athena Fernando, Joseph Pham) experienced the camp like the campers but also assisted in smooth functioning for the group - especially with the road trip from Auckland to Wellington (& we had to arrive by 2PM!) We hope we can bring a bigger group to the next Summer Camp! Special shoutout to Athena Fernando from St. Mary’s Northcote for joining our group and taking care of our female teens in the camp.


With more than 50 attendees in our Kick-off night, it really was a perfect start for a new Youthful year.

We wanted to bring back the fire from Summer Camp and so we did! The night included games and small group discussions (& of course, one broken window!). We kept it simple and authentic to allow the youth to digest what we have in store for them for the year. There was a lot of new faces that evening, so it was great to meet each and every single one of them. The Kick-Off Night was our first Youth night since December so it jump started our ministry in a good way.

YOUTH ACTIVITIES February - November

This year, our Youth Ministry planned and ran events from February to November. We created a new schedule which fits around the block of the school terms. This was essential for us as we also took breaks when they had holidays. But this also ensured us that we could plan Social Nights for them that they could enjoy during their break. In 2020, our Youth Ministry ran:

3 Series 12 Life Nights 7 Social Nights 4 School Retreats 1 Parish Fundraiser & a lot more! On the left, you are able to see what our ‘Youth Semesters’ look like and what they have in each semester. We’ve tried our best to balance our Life Nights & Social Nights so that it isn’t overwhelming for our Youth. We’re pretty stoked that so many of the Youth came & attended these events! We hope to see you all again very soon!

These are the three series that we delved into this year. We strategically chose these series as we believed it was more relatable to the Youth in this region. All three really challenged the Core Team as well as the Youth to think deeply about their relationship with God. It is a good starting point in our ministry as we unpack a lot of these topics. From what we have received, all three series have been fairly easy to digest. THE NEXT ‘EPISODE’ Life Teen has been a very good advocate to get everyone on board - as much as our Core Team appreciate the support we’ve been receiving in building the Youth’s relationship with Christ. It is just as important for the parents to take on the mission to continue these conversations at home. A few times this year, we requested for our Youth to bring home “homework” for their parents (that consists of deeper questions, explanations etc.) that gets the conversations started at home. A Youth Ministry that works alongside the parents is what we’re aiming for. THE SERIES Each series consists of 4-Parts (1 per Life Night). In those parts; the layout of the Life Night goes from Gather, Proclaim, Break & Send. If any parents are interested in learning more about Life Teen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Mirror Mirror introduces teens to Jesus, who, by saving us from sin and death, establishes our authentic identity in Him and leads us to experience abundant life.

Source: Life Teen High School Resources

Belong addresses the importance of moving from isolation to solitude as well as our need for acceptance and community, which can be found and fostered in the Catholic Church.

Mood presents the emotional responses of Jesus during His earthly ministry. It challenges teens to use Jesus’ example to understand their emotional responses and order them toward their spiritual good.

Movie & Ice-cream Night June 12

Bowling Night June 26

XLT Night July 10

Heaven’s Kitchen October 23

YOUTH MASS Every Third Sunday of the month

Designed by Romwell Ramos

4 Youth Masses 4 New Readers 7 New Extraordinary Ministers

Despite the challenges revolving masses, we were blessed enough to have hosted Youth Masses this year. Big thanks to those that volunteered and offered their time to serve the Lord on Sundays. My intention is for our Young People to grow a deeper understanding of the Eucharist while serving in Sunday masses. While we have Youth activities on, it is just as important to incorporate them in serving in Sunday Mass. For them to learn more about the Eucharist & to listen to the Sunday readings. How can we say they are the future of the Church if they’re not incorporated in the Church of today? Our goal for next year - more Youth masses, to nurture younger Mass Leaders & unique presentations in Youth Mass.


In terms of developing Year 13 leaders, we wanted to continue in nurturing those who typically goes to our parish. This is so that their presence are well-know in the community but we can also rely on them to serve. In hopes of capturing them to continue in serving. This is especially important in a phase where they are transitioning from high-school to another vocation. For those entering their final year in college, feel free to get in touch with us & see what we have in store for next year. This year we are especially grateful to have: Arthur Paul, Nathan Dsouza, Sam Aschebrook, Talitha Pereira, Jana Vicente & Nicole Lay (Absent: Rohit Suresh, Anna Sluyter & Danny Meek).

Class of


CORE TEAM RETREAT at Sonshine Ranch

October 30 - November 01

This 3-day retreat served as a way for the Core Team to grow closer together. Although this retreat was postponed & some of the members were not present, we still made use of this time to pray, reflect and grow together as a team. The theme of the weekend was called “PSYCHE” meaning, literally - the human soul, mind, or spirit. We had the opportunity to learn more about our temperaments and how we could use our different gifts to better serve in our ministry while looking into the areas we could improve on as Youth ministers. Moving forward, we have a young team consisting of mainly young adults with different experiences and different goals. It truly is a gift at this point to be able to serve together. Continue to keep us in your prayers as we journey forward!

17 Core Members 2 Youth Support


December 05

This year marks the third year, our Youth Ministry has hosted Dessert & Dancing. The uncertainties the pandemic provided pushed to postpone this event twice making it all the way at the end of the year. Depsite all this, we continued to bring the hype and excitement that this event continues to bring. This year we had a HUGE turnout from the younger demographic - not just through attendees but as our volunteers to make this event come to life. From the Hospitality team to the Deco-team, y’all are amazing! Special thanks to Genevieve for taking the big lead this year, she ran it perfectly! We’re still in complete awe each year with the amount of donations & support we receive from the community, so in behalf of our team, thank you! Looking back, the intention to use Dessert & Dancing to bring our parish closer while raising funds for Youth Ministry, that purpose has not shifted at all. We aim to make this event bigger every year, so all can celebrate with each other!

Regional Activities Tu Kahikatea award winners: Janine Ramos & Gabrielle Dsouza

REGIONAL RECAP In this year’s regional activities, due to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, it was cut short. Regardless of this, throughout the year, the Regional Leaders held numerous meetings to talk about our lockdown experience & how exactly are we leading virtually. This was a way to support each other in it - it is super crucial that each one of us leaders, were in the right state to lead, mental health is just as important as your physical health.

My experience in Antioch is a special one. I finally understand why our previous group of campers that went down last year, enjoyed their stay. The youth, the music, the environment, the leaders were some of the factors that heavily affected the outcome of my experience. Shoutout to the Mission Team & the Christchurch Youth Team for organizing the camp!

TU KAHIKATEA AWARDS In this year’s Tu Kahikatea award winners, we want to congratulate Gabrielle Dsouza & Janine Props to Felicia Nasrun for stepping up as our Ramos for receiving awards in Community Regional Coordinator & the other parishes/ Life. We recognize their importance in the leaders that we’ve connected with in those community and their commitment to regional meetings. Hoping we could lead ministry. many events together in the next year! These awards are special as it acknowledges ANTIOCH CAMP those who have served for more than 3 years. In September 25-27, Genevieve & I had the We take in pride in these as it paves the way for opportunity to go down for the weekend to the next set of leaders. revitalize & learn from the Youth Ministry in Antioch Camp in Christchurch.

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