When talking about religion and society many people today believe religion has no role in today’s modern society. As a religious educator many people often assume that young people especially teenagers have no interest in religious education. However, I disagree.
As a religious educator I believe it is my job to make religion accessible to my students. Teenagers today need to find ways to connect to religion in their own lives. As a teenager one way I connected to my own faith development was by participating in World Youth Day 2008.
World Youth Day is a youth orientated Catholic Church event. At World Youth Day young people from all around the world will come together to explore their faith, experience friendship, have fun and establish memories that they will have for a lifetime. The World Youth Day experience includes music, drama, theatre, talks and discussion.
It gives young people a chance to celebrate their faith the Pope himself and with people from all around the world. I attended World Youth Day in Australia in 2008 and this year it was held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Attending World Youth Day filled me with hope. In Ireland we see a Catholic Church that sits in the shadow of society. However, when a young person attends WYD they see a Catholic Church out of the shadows, with young people chanting Viva La Papa and wearing T-Shirts that say ‘It’s Okay to Pray’. Celebrating your faith has all of a sudden become ‘cool’ and ‘stylish’ again.
So if you are looking for ways to get your students to celebrate their faith and rekindle a love of the own faith development why not introduce them to World Youth Day?