Young people take the lead on World Youth Day Wellington event

The Archdiocese’s Tuākana Youth Ministers led a World Youth Day Wellington event on Sunday 6 August.

Almost 200 people gathered at Bishop Viard College for the Archdiocese’s World Youth Day Wellington event on 6th August to celebrate their faith and to reflect on Pope Francis’ message. This was a public event and included representatives from our Parishes, Colleges, and chaplaincies from across the Wellington region. 

The day was designed and lead by the Archdiocese’s Tuākana Youth Ministers; Nia Foliaki, Timothy Ale, Sofia Mendoza and Nick Meli who ran the 7-hour long event. This included the Mass which had Fr Alfred Tong, Fr Dennis Narcoda and Fr Andrew Kim as the celebrants. Nia Foliaki connected with different chaplaincies and communities to have representatives from each community to speak in their first language for the Readings and Prayers of the Faithful. The Samoan Chaplaincy Youth also took on roles in the Mass, organising the Enthronement of the Bible. “We felt it was important for our World Youth Day event to really reflect all communities within our Archdiocese, and we also wanted to connect to the fact that the World Youth Day celebrations in Portugal were bringing people from all around the world together” Nia Foliaki shared.

In addition to the Mass, the Tuākana developed and presented workshops to further explore the themes of World Youth Day. Sofia Mendoza lead the main session on the World Youth Day theme “Mary Arose in Haste” sharing her experience as a young person navigating life and faith which included students sharing their faith journeys. Archbishop Paul Martin SM joined this session and shared his story, and finished it with a guided meditation prayer for the participants.

Timothy Ale and Nick Meli, who both have a passion for art and music also created space for people to celebrate their faith in creative ways, with an art table at the entrance for people to share their prayer intentions and any other images they felt inspired to share, as well as live music from young groups across the Archdiocese. The main band was from St Pius X Titahi Bay, and we had groups from St Joseph’s Levin, St Patrick’s Wainuiomata, St Michael’s Taita, Holy Trinity Parish and Wellington South Parish perform.

“I’m so proud of the Tuākana for running the first large scale event that the Archdiocese has seen since before Covid and this is just the start” Louise Lloyd Young Church Coordinator shared from Lisbon.

See a video below created by Nia Foliaki.