Irish News

Parish structure ‘not adequate’ for youth ministry

Fr Brendan Kilcoyne speaking at Fortify

Parishes that don’t employ a youth minister reap the benefits of other parishes’ investments according to a Galway priest.

Fr Brendan Kilcoyne spoke at a conference last week designed to showcase youth ministry options for parishes in Ireland.

He urged young people to engage in youth ministry, saying it is “urgent” and “profoundly meaningful” as well as “quite intimidating and difficult”.

However he said the parish structure is not always helpful or adequate in facilitating youth ministry which crosses those boundaries frequently.


“So you’ll find for instance that in one parish you’ll have a youth minister operating, and are paying the youth minister, and other parishes who wouldn’t dream of doing the same thing are actually benefitting a lot from it - because their kids are going to the local school as well,” Fr Kilcoyne said.

The priest, who is from St Mary’s Parish in Athenry, added that a young person’s peer group is extremely important, more so than parents or teachers.

He added that a great temptation with youth ministry is to give talks to adults, saying “the real power lies elsewhere”.

The Fortify Youth Ministry Conference was held in St Paul’s Church in Dublin on June 10, and featured Christian musician Matt Maher in concert.