The Caritas Award has been designed to help young parishioners to play an active part in parish life. It will encourage them to offer their time and their talents in acts of loving service to others. It will engage them in prayer and the reading of Scripture in order to stimulate their reflection on their personal faith commitment within the parish.
For most young pople, their secondary school will make the necessary arrangements to enrol them for the award. However, for those in a parish which is not associated with a local Catholic secondary school, the parish priest can directly enrol young people for the award. Details are provided in a document (attached below) on how to do this.
Here are some practical suggestions which could help your parish to become involved:
- appoint a parishioner as a co-ordinator for the Caritas Award. This job could include liaising with schools, meeting with the Caritas Award entrants, monitoring their progress, reporting to clergy, parish council etc.
- speak to any parish groups (eg., SVDP) about how they might encourage these young people to become involved in their work.
- think about any particular parish needs to which young people might bring their particular energy and talents – working with young people, music ministry, liturgy, parish website etc.
- anticipate approaches from young parishioners who may approach you directly or from your local school. Be ready to respond to these positively.
- discuss with clergy from local parishes what range of opportunities might be provided across parishes in the area.