Marist North Shore counts among its staff Sydney Catholic Schools’ first primary school-based Youth Ministry Coordinator.
Year 6 teacher Cecilia Chatelier is transitioning to her new Youth Ministry Coordinator (YMC) leadership role after seven years working at Marist College North Shore St Mary’s Campus.
Affectionately known as Liz, she is uniquely placed as Sydney Catholic Schools’ only primary school based YMC.
Her appointment follows the combining of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School with Marist College North Shore into a Kindergarten to Year 12 co-educational school in 2021.
“It’s strange but exciting; I’m really looking forward to it,” Liz, who is also a PDHPE/Wellbeing Coordinator, said.
“I’m already working with our high school YMC to adapt the (secondary focussed) materials.
“I really want to forge forward with music and drama and use that as a vehicle to get the children and their families more involved in their faith.”
LIZ’S FAITH JOURNEY
Liz has been a teacher for more than a decade, and was heavily involved in youth ministry in her local parish while her children were growing up. She feels this will put her in good stead for her new role as a primary school YMC at Marist.
“I was a stay-at-home mum for six years and did a lot of music ministry work, volunteering in nursing homes, and I did catechism,” Liz said.
“At my old parish (St Mary’s Erskinville) I started a mother’s group, a playgroup, and I was chair of the parish committee.”
Asked her thoughts on the key ingredients of being a good YMC, she said simply: “Relationships. Building trusting relationships and valuing them (the students) as individuals and understanding it’s a different faith journey for everyone.”
SCHOOL YOUTH MINISTRY
Traditionally, there is a Youth Ministry Coordinator (YMC) in every Archdiocesan secondary school.
YMCs are teachers within their school who’ve been appointed to their positions of leadership. They work with the schools’ RECs and other staff to engage students in faith-filled activities within the school.
These school based activities may include:
- Organising and leading prayer opportunities in classes and in the school
- Developing opportunities for students to use their gifts and talents in Music Ministry or to become Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
- Supporting Catechists to teach state school students how to pray with Christ
- Supporting Deanery Youth Groups across the Archdiocese of Sydney
- Supporting the catechumenal journey – or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process – of students seeking to become Catholics
- Taking part in programs that teach students what it truly means to live faithfully and act justly, by helping people in our community living in poverty and disadvantage.
Qualities needed in a YMC are: deep, genuine faith; a willingness to serve; a real ‘yes’ attitude; and a passion to evangelise, and promote a welcoming, vibrant faith community.