COVID 19 has disrupted so many things – but part of being a Christian is noticing and celebrating Good News, signs of hope. One such sign of hope has been the work of Million Minutes, working collaboratively with the Columbans and others, bringing together young Catholics for a series of online formation sessions during lockdown. Each week brought something new – including special guests such as Matthew Van Duyvenbode from the Trussell Trust discussing foodbanks, Leila Bousbaa from the Climate Coalition, Sahaya Selvam SDB exploring wellbeing, and Katrina Alton CSJP on vocation, prayer and protest.
This good work is already bearing fruit. One of the participants, Anna Fraine, with the support of the Columbans, has gone on to write a wonderful new resource, ‘Prepare the Future’ for use by youth leaders and teachers in secondary schools across Britain. Over 12 simple-to-use units it helps young people reflect on their experience of COVID through the eyes of the Gospel, answering Pope Francis’s call for young people to ‘prepare the future’ now, and not passively ‘prepare for the future’ created by others.
Anna says, “I hope this resource encourages young people not only to take action in their own lives but also shape for themselves a new way of being in the world. One that does not shy away from spirituality but helps them see life is more than school grades, social media and ‘success’, particularly as we are called to ‘hear the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’. I hope they feel ready to address big questions, to speak up and start making positive changes for their schools, parishes and communities.”
Daisy Srblin, Director of Million Minutes, says: ‘We all know that it is young people who suffer the most at the hands of our unequal world, and will undoubtedly struggle most when it comes to the legacy of Covid-19. It is the younger generation who will carry the greatest burden, when it comes to an economic recession, the climate emergency, paying for Covid-19, and so much more. Million Minutes is proud to have laid the foundations for this important resource, which we hope will enable young people from around the country to process the trauma they have experienced, to explore the role of faith in that journey, and to build the sort of future they deserve. Thank you especially to Anna and the Columbans, but also to all those from Dioceses around the country, who have helped make this resource possible’.
Columban Justice and Peace Education Worker, James Trewby, is pleased to have supported the development of the resource, noting that “it fits so well with the Columban commitment to justice, peace and care for creation – and supporting young people in putting their faith into action for the common good”.
To access the Prepare for the Future resource please visit https://millionminutes.org/future. For more information on the work of Columban JPIC in Britain and around the world, please email James on firstname.lastname@example.org.