Welcome to our Youth Ministry. Here at St Thomas's, we try to involve all our youth in as many activities as possible to make them feel part of everything that we do. We are proud and thankful for all the youth that we do have in our parish and we celebrate their involvement in parish life.
Friday Youth Group
We currently have 2 Friday youth groups running. One is for children that are in Grade 3 and higher. This group is called Six2Eight as it runs from 6 pm to 8 pm. This group is held on every third Friday of each month except during school holidays or public holidays.
The other group is geared for all those that are in secondary school or older. This group is called the Les Coeurs Group (meaning The Hearts) and it also runs from 6 pm to 8 pm. The aim for this group is to allow the high school and university age bracket of students to connect and develop socially and spiritually. We meet at church but we also do outdoor activities that focus on reaching out to the community. This group is held on every First Friday of each month except during school holidays or public holidays.
Generally, the format for our group is to play games with the children, some of these indoor and some outdoor depending on the weather. We also share a small meal together to encourage socialisation amongst the children. There are a lot of skill building opportunities that the children are presented with during their time at the group. Some of these include leadership, communication, taking turns, problem solving, cooperation and getting along with one another.
The youth group nurtures our young parishioners to have Fun, Faith, Food and Friends in a safe and caring environment.
We run a youth mass once a month for all to attend. This mass is usually the Sunday 5 pm mass and is held on the last Sunday of the month. At our Youth Mass, the children actively participate in the mass with readings, prayers, altar serving, the choir and the many other parts that make a mass. The wonderful thing about this mass is to be able to see the children have active participation in this celebration.
The project has been running for over 6 years now providing a much needed and appreciated Gardening Service to a group of residents at St Thomas’ Retirement Village, 97 Hawthorn Rd Forest Hill on a monthly basis. Adults and youth (from Year 3 and above) meet on a Saturday morning, to do weeding, planting, sweeping and tidying for Villagers who can't do their own gardening. Finishing by 11.30 am for morning tea, which is provided by the residents. The Starfish Project provides an opportunity to prove to the wider community the importance our young parishioners can play in parish life.
Training is conducted for all children that are interested in becoming an Altar Server in this parish. If you are in Grade 3 and higher and are keen to help out by becoming an altar servers, then please let us know. Altar serving is a very special ministry to do in the church. All Altar Servers that are older than Grade 6 have the opportunity to enter in to The Guild of St Stephen. Only people with a very special role are able to be on the sanctuary and altar servers are one of them. As an altar server, your child has a special please close to the altar and close to God. It is a privilege to become an altar server.
At St. Thomas the Apostle parish, we offer all Catholic children in our community, who do not attend a Catholic school, the opportunity to attend and receive their Sacraments on a structured basis each Tuesday afternoon during school terms. This is possible through the generosity of our volunteers who champion the program and help prepare and facilitate the weekly classes. Parents are the first teachers of faith. Just as parents teach their children to hold a spoon, when to say please and thank you, how to draw, how to walk, and how to relate to others, parents also teach their children about faith. Therefore the classes provided by our volunteer catechists are a support to the religious formation children receive at home. Through weekly attendance at the classes, prayer at home and Mass attendance with the family, your child will grow in faith through your support.
The Tenebrae service is celebrated in the beginning of the Holy Week. The youth of our Parish prepare this service from beginning to end. It is an opportunity to prepare for the Holy Week and Easter. The readings tell us about the series of events that took place in the final hours before Jesus Christ’s death. The service is mostly silent and the silence gives us the opportunity to contemplate what his thoughts, mood and feelings were during this time.
There are other activities that we encourage our youth to participate and run for our parish and some of these are fundraising for the poor, movie nights, Christmas carolling and many more.
If you are interested in joining our youth group or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the Parish Office on 9878 0818 or via email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral Associate Youth Ministry