'Live Simply' - Diocesan Youth Retreats
The 'Live Simply' theme flowed perfectly from 'Fairtrade' 2006 and 'Food of Life' 2005. The theme, seen as an urgent issue by the Diocese, was decided upon long before the CYS in conjunction with CAFOD made it their theme for National Youth Sunday 2006.
21 took part in Loreto 2007 despite the difficulties caused by the snow; and 24 participated in Noddfa 2007. Apart from the usual games and quizzes, they learned about carbon emissions and footprints, were entertained and provoked by clips from YouTube, and discovered how they might just be outgrowing the earth.
Young people gave thanks to the Creator of all and made their 'Live Simply Promises' in conjunction with thousands of others across the country. They took part in exercises to look at who they were, what they possessed and what their real needs were, and asked how they might be able to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity through friends, church, school and family.
The group was led in prayer around the Diocesan Youth Cross by young people who have become regulars at the youth retreats. They watched clips from Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth', 'The Day after Tomorrow' and 'Erin Brokovich'. They even viewed a couple of hybrid cars and took part in some vegetable growing!
Trees were planted at both venues both as a sign of belief in the goodness of creation, and that it must not be taken for granted. All this within the framework of the Mass at which all the work and learning and experiences were brought together at the foot of the altar.
In leading the retreats, the Youth Commission was enriched with the generosity of some truly amazing people from the Diocese, and for that it gives great thanks. Some woneful seeds have been sown in the hearts and the minds of our young people, seeds that are already bearing fruit.