The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

From Hannah – our Youth Ministry Coordinator

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Well, it’s great to FINALLY be here! I was offered the post as Youth Ministry Coordinator about three months ago and have been twiddling my thumbs in nervous anticipation ever since! Now, at last, we can get started!

First thing’s first, a brief introduction…I’m 22 years old and hobbies of mine include enjoying good food with good company, and reading. I love to just take myself away to a quiet coffee shop somewhere and read a good chunk of my book! Simple pleasures go a long way, I tell you! I also love listening to music, and I must confess to being ‘one of those’ who blasts their music out of the car stereo insanely loud!...Well, it would be selfish to keep a good tune to yourself now, wouldn’t it?!

I’ve just spent the last three years in Leeds as a student, studying Theology and International Development (BA Hons). Alongside my degree, I did a lot of voluntary work for the Leeds Diocesan Youth Service, and was also employed as a part time youth worker for the Bramhope Churches (near Otley). In this time, I have really matured in my faith and met some truly inspiring people. I have come to feel a strong sense of belonging in this Diocese and am delighted that God has led me here, to St Theresa’s Parish.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough how welcome and accepted I have been made to feel here. This place is full of friendly faces! Furthermore, my appointment as Youth Ministry Coordinator is a powerful testimony to the importance placed on young people in this Parish. Thank you for investing the prayers, finances and confidence needed to make it all happen, and I promise to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the service of this community through my work with the young people.

I will be based at the Parish Centre, whilst also working closely with the students at both St Theresa’s Primary School and Corpus Christi College so as to engage with the young people of this area as widely as possible. My role is to coordinate the Parish’s provision for young people at St Theresa’s Church. Thus I pray that, as a community, we can work towards creating a better space in the Parish for young people in which they can find spiritual, social and personal nourishment. I hope to empower this Parish community to provide for the younger members of His Church and encourage a vibrant and spirit-filled youth 'scene', so that each young parishioner will feel they have a place here. I will also aim to involve young people more fully in the liturgical life of the Parish, through, for example, more participation in the Masses, so that they can bring all the energies and creativity of youth to the forefront of the Church’s spiritual activity.

Most importantly, through forming real relationships in this Parish, particularly with its younger members, I hope to engage in a youth ministry that draws us all closer to Christ. I am confident that as we laugh together, talk together, and journey together in faith, we will understand more of, not only the world we live in but, the God who made us.

Most importantly to this vision, however, is our continued prayer. Let’s ask the Lord to bless us and guide us as we move forward as a Parish. May this Parish’s renewal in youth ministry lead us into a deeper relationship with Christ where we serve Him more freely, depend on Him more fervently, and see His face more clearly in the young people of this Parish.

I look forward to being a member of this warm, open and prayerful community, and if you have any ideas or comments, please don’t even think twice about getting in touch. St Theresa’s is really leading the way in youth ministry, being the only Parish in the Diocese so far to have appointed a full time youth worker, so we are all fairly new to this! Therefore, I’d really appreciate your ideas, suggestions, visions, etc. regarding the young people of this Parish; your input is invaluable to this ministry.

Thanks a million.

God bless, Hannah Zafar, Youth Ministry Coordinator

Published Mon 29th Oct 2007 13:48:43

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