Catholic School Youth Ministry

The Catholic School Youth Ministry program at MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale provides a model and resources for building youth ministry initiatives into the heart of the school.

Summary of Learnings

In 2009 Youth Ministry Co-ordinator for MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale, Mrs Kelly Paget attended the Catholic School Youth Ministry (CSYMA) conference held in Canberra.

This program presents a new way of thinking about youth ministry in Catholic schools in the context of New Evangelisation.

The 4 phase model at MacKillop incorporates:

1. A Retreat and/or youth ministry experience

  • Catch the Wave event @ Year 9 Camp

2. Development of a ‘Youth Ministry classroom Curriculum pathway’

  • Year 10 Youth Ministry RE Class
  • Term 3 unit – “Youth Ministry and Leadership”
  • Undertake Youth Ministry projects within College as part of Disciples in Mission ministry teams
  • Year 10 Retreat
  • Participate in ongoing formation


3. Senior Youth Ministry Team Program

  • Regular meetings and ongoing formation
  • Facilitate peer to peer ministry events and retreats, reflection days and small groups within School Life
  • Involvement in Parish
  • Immersion / mission trip July 2012
  • Certificate given upon completion

4. Connection with the broader church including Parish life and fostering post-school involvement in Catholic Church.

  • Parish, College and broader Church involvement
  • CSYMA National Team, Diocesan Team
  • College Retreats, team formation
  • Youth Ministry as vocation, life of discipleship.

With the support of the School Principal and the Assistant Director Mission Services, MacKillop Catholic College became a partner school of Catholic School Youth Ministry Australia (CSYMA) which provides a model and resources for building youth ministry initiatives into the heart of the school through curriculum and peer-to-peer ministry.

As part of the CSYMA Four Phase model, MacKillop has commenced implementing an RE curriculum pathway focusing on Youth Ministry and Leadership into Year 10.

Into the third year of the CSYMA model at MacKillop, 4 teams now operate, the original Senior Youth Ministry Team of 23 Year 12 students, along with 14 Yr 11s and 33 year 10s who also form a Religious Education class that will travel together throughout the year, learning and growing in faith.

These students engage in fortnightly spiritual formation, prayer and ministry skill development. They also plan and conduct a number of ministry events each term with K-12 that build relationships and creatively share the Gospel. In 2012, the Year 10 Youth Ministry team is also being formed as part of our Disciples in Mission program.

The establishment of the CSYMA program has provided opportunity for increasing links between the parish and school as well as enabling students to prepare and conduct various ministry programs throughout the school such as:

  • Yr 7 belonging session
  • School and Parish Stations of the Cross
  • Yr 9 catch the wave event
  • Yr 10 retreat
  • Yr 4 Sacraments of initiation session
  • A Yr 6 transitions day for feeder schools
  • Family retreat run with Parish
  • Year 8 reflection day
  • Senior retreat
  • Yr 6 Spirituality Day in conjunction with Primary Staff
  • Yr 5 Leadership camp in conjunction with Primary staff

It is hoped that with the development of these youth ministry skills, along with their theological and personal faith formation, that these students will be capable of entering into church ministries in the wider community while also continuing to participate as leaders in school retreat programs.

Summary of Learnings

  • The program articulates young peoples experience of faith in a language that they can relate to
  • Students are not passive recipients, but are actively engaged.
  • Participating in the program comes with some responsibility for the students for both school and parish events
  • Students are empowered by the program, building both confidence and skills



  • Students are involved in weekly spiritual formation, prayer and ministry skill development (eg managing group activities, planning liturgy)
  • The students have the opportunity to conduct ministry in the school that looks to creatively share the gospel and build relationships
  • The program is a national program that has a professional support structure

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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