Let the little children come to me, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
The young are not just the church of tomorrow they are the church of today – through baptism they belong and as vulnerable members of the Body of Christ they need the care and attention of all members of the church. Jesus had a particular appreciation of the young and called all his followers to be like them, so they are a great treasure and the church takes its responsibility to them very seriously.
All parishes try to cultivate and encourage children and young people in their faith, and most do this through helping them appreciate the Mass (liturgy of the word for children), through forming them in faith (catechetics), through helping them belong (youth clubs and social activities) and helping them take responsibility in their faith (through ministry). If you have children and what to know what happens in your local parish – do make enquiries.
As a Diocese support for children and young people happens through catechetical camps, youth gatherings and pilgrimage. For details of what might be happening enquire in your parish.
One of the most important aspects of pastoral care for children and young people is to ensure that they are always safe and protected in the church and when involved in any church activity. In this Diocese we have a very effective safeguarding agency which ensures that all parishes and all Diocesan activities place the care of children and young people as the highest priority.
To find out about Diocesan Safeguarding see here.
Bereavement support for children and families
Children’s understanding of and reactions to death – please find links to documents which may help at these difficult times.
Our Catholic schools
The foundation of our Catholic schools is our primary mission, that each child should be able to encounter the living God, who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth. This mission rests on three interdependent objectives: to provide an environment in which children are enabled to build and deepen their relationship with God; to foster a rigorous academic culture aimed at the pursuit of truth; and to actively promote the development and growth of virtue in each child.
– Bishop Mark O’Toole.
Catholic Children’s Society
Offering crisis grants and family guidance across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth) helps children and their families irrespective of whether they are Catholic or not. The services we provide include: individual grants and bursaries for families and children in need, parenting courses through diocesan schools, programmes on social concern for school groups. The Society is committed to working with and for all families and children, whatever their belief. But it takes inspiration for its work from a commitment to putting the Christian gospel into action.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” – Frederick Douglas
The Summer Catechetical Camps provide young Catholics of the Diocese of Plymouth opportunities to learn about their faith within a holiday atmosphere. Originally the vision of the Catholic Women’s League, who organised and ran them for many years, they are now run by a dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom have experienced camp for themselves. For our youngsters this experience of ‘Church’ changes their attitudes and influences their choices in life. It has fostered vocations to the priesthood and encourages a deeper engagement with the challenges and opportunities of being a young Catholic in today’s world.