News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool



Cath Pic Jubilee Issue-1 Catholic Pic November 2021-1

Animate Youth Ministries’ day retreats with Year 7 pupils have prompted reflections on what it means to be part of a faith community – and how to make an impact. Elizabeth Martin explains more.


The first half of the autumn term was a busy time for Animate. We have now returned to our normal routine of working, without the restrictions that the pandemic brought upon us for so long. Since September, therefore, we have worked already with several different high schools in the Diocese and, in particular, have led a number of day retreats for Year 7 pupils.


We began the term by working with youngsters at All Hallows, Penwortham, where we focused on the theme of ‘letting your light shine’ by thinking about the gifts that God has given to each of us, and how we can share these gifts with the world and contribute to our community in a positive way. Next, with St Peter and Paul’s, Widnes, we reflected on how we are all part of one body – that is, one community. We considered how St Peter and St Paul were very different men with different personalities and talents, but both had a massive impact on the Church in their different ways. We too each have the ability to serve our community in our own unique way. Without diversity, our community would not be as strong.  


With the pupils of St Gregory’s in Warrington, we reflected on how we can all ‘stand up and be counted’, and that we should not be afraid to stand up for what is right and for what we believe in.  We considered how faith can guide us to make the right decisions in life.  


In the final week before the half-term break, we worked with pupils at Hope Academy, Newton-le-Willows, where we encouraged the Year 7s to consider how it is possible to live out their school’s values of ambition, courage and respect in their daily lives. We reflected on how ambition can be a positive characteristic, if we have a drive to truly become the best version of ourselves and the people that God has created us to be.  

We can see in the Bible that God commands us to be ‘strong and courageous … for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go’ (Joshua 1:9), and we can also play a role in encouraging each other to be courageous. Finally, we should always treat everyone with respect, by trying to live out the ‘golden rule’ of treating others in the way that we would like to be treated ourselves.  


The retreats led by Animate in these different schools during the past half-term may all have had a slightly different focus, but one thing that they had in common was the core value of what it means to be a part of a faith community for the young people making a new start at high school, and how each child has the opportunity to make a positive impact. Each has been created by God for their own unique purpose, and has the potential to let their light shine in the world.  


• We have now opened applications for next summer’s Liverpool Archdiocesan Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes. For the 2022 pilgrimage we have launched an online application system, and you can apply via liverpoollourdesyouth.co.uk.


• We have also restarted the Faith in Action award. You can register by going to: https://www.animateyouth.org/faith-in-action/faith-in-action-2020-21/

School lessons on community living

Without diversity, our community would not be as strong