International youth congress an insightful experience for Kyle

Kyle Correya from the Archdiocese of Melbourne was recently selected to represent Australia at the International Congress on Youth Ministry, hosted by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in Rome. Upon his return to Australia, Kyle has shared his experience of attending the congress in this edition of The Bridge.

The International Youth Ministry Congress is a significant event, hosted by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. More than 300 youth and ministry leaders as well as clergy from around the world gathered in Rome, Italy, for the 2024 sitting. The congress aims to equip leaders with the tools and knowledge to effectively minister to young people facing pressing issues in a rapidly-changing world.

Kyle CorreyaI was blessed to be appointed the youth delegate for Australia. I travelled to Rome along with Fr Chris Ryan MGL, director of the Areté Centre for Missionary Leadership in Australia and Malcolm Hart, director of the National Centre for Evangelisation.

In 2019, Pope Francis wrote Christus Vivit (‘Christ is Alive’) to address not only young people but the “entire people of God”, following the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. Christus Vivit emphasises the important role of youth in the Church and encourages them to embrace their faith and actively participate in their communities.

As a youth leader and musician in the Church it was an eye-opening experience to learn about this important document and how it can be used in youth ministry across Australia. Fr Chris Ryan led a talk on synodality and mission, which also provided great insight that I hope to utilise and implement within the community through discernment and dialogue with young people.

The new leadership styles and strategies discussed at the congress are expected to aid in the organisation and outcomes of two major upcoming events – the 2025 Jubilee for Youth to be held in Rome, and the next World Youth Day to be hosted in Seoul, South Korea in 2027. The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life plays a pivotal role in organising events like these that foster and support the spiritual growth and engagement of young people within the Catholic Church.

A once in a lifetime highlight that I will never forget was having the opportunity to meet the Holy Father, Pope Francis. I was excited to tell him that I had come from Australia; he smiled and joyously replied “That is so far away!”

The International Youth Ministry Congress provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with youth leaders from across the world. Cultural differences, experiences and stories helped broaden my understanding of strategies that have been successful in other countries, but also provided insight on possible improvements that we can consider adopting in Australia, to promote youth engagement in the Church.

I am forever grateful and honoured to have had this opportunity and to receive a personal blessing from His Holiness. This experience has truly demonstrated the amazing work and emphasis being placed on young Catholics around the world to share their faith and engage in ministry.


Words: Kyle Correya
Image: Supplied

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