May – For Faith-Filled Young People video by The Pope Video.

Each month, Pope Francis asks for our prayers for a specific intention. For the month of May, the prayer intention is for faith-filled young people.

In an increasingly secular world, you often wonder if there are still many people of faith, especially young people of faith.

According to the 2016 Australian Census, “young adults (aged 18-34 years) were more likely to report not having a religion (39%) and more likely to be affiliated with religions other than Christianity (12%) than other adults”. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Although many young people identify as non-religious, there are still faith-filled young people.

As a Catholic, faith-filled young person myself, I have encountered numerous young people full of faith (a majority who are Christian).

I am a second-generation Australian woman, raised Catholic since birth and continue to be part of the Church today. Having Lebanese, Maronite Catholic grandparents, faith was embedded in the culture which I was exposed to growing up.

My culture and my experience attending public schools influenced and contributed to my faith and the person I am today.

Growing up, most of the people I encountered, or were friends with, were non-religious and Christian. Encountering people from different walks of life made me consider my own faith, what it meant to have faith and believe in God.

In my early twenties, I had a desire to learn more about my Catholic faith and be part of a faith-filled and like-minded young community. I started attending Mass on my own and actively began learning more about my faith.

Working for the Sisters of Saint Joseph, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Josephite Colloquium. I learnt more about the Josephite charism and the life of Saint Mary MacKillop. These learnings were life-changing! They encouraged me to take opportunities and make changes in my life, particularly in my faith.

I became more involved in my local church community and attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in 2017. It was wonderful to be in the presence of many young faith-filled people. It is an experience I will always treasure.

Since then, I actively try to participate in the Church to strengthen and enrich my faith. I am currently a part of JAG (Josephite Action Group), a Sisters of Saint Joseph youth and young adults justice ministry. Recently, I finished my leadership role in young adults ministry at my local parish. Through these ministries I have met and made some of my greatest friends, and I am part of two wonderful communities.

I am so grateful for the values, hope and purpose my faith gives me. My faith helps me see the human dignity in all, encourages me to serve others, and to strive to be the best version of myself (who God wants me to be).

Let us join Pope Francis in praying for all young people:

We pray for all young people, called to live life to the fullest; may they see in Mary’s (Jesus’ mother) life the way to listen, the depth of discernment, the courage that faith generates, and the dedication to service.May Prayer Intention 2022, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

Mary Baynie
Congregational Administration Services and JAG Member

2019 JAG gathering at North Sydney, NSW.