Takirua 2020 Shaping the Mission

WelCom March 2020: NATIONAL CATHOLIC CONFERENCE FOR YOUTH MINISTERS, MARRIAGE EDUCATORS, AND ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED6pm Friday, 24 April – 12.30pm, Sunday, 26 April 2020 InterContinental Hotel Wellington  Under Pope Francis’ leadership…

WelCom March 2020:

6pm Friday, 24 April – 12.30pm, Sunday, 26 April 2020 
InterContinental Hotel Wellington 

Under Pope Francis’ leadership we are called to rethink the way we go about evangelising in our respective communities. Through a changing mission the Church is specifically addressing today’s issues of ministry with families, marriage and young people.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference’s two agencies for these ministries – Marriage and Young People – are hosting a joint national conference in Wellington over Anzac weekend in April, to collectively explore some of the key issues facing these ministries. 

Takirua 2020: Shaping the Mission is geared to host hundreds of Catholic pastoral ministers from all over Aotearoa from Friday 24 April to Sunday, 26 April. It is open to all who care about our Church and its ministry in today’s society and who want to understand more about the many changing and complex issues we face as Catholics.

What’s the conference about?

Takirua 2020: Shaping the Mission is a chance to take a close look at Catholic ministry today here in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Society’s norms are changing and continue to change. Acknowledging today’s challenges, Pope Francis calls us all to abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way’ (Evangelii Gaudium 33). 

Social issues have changed; become more complex. The impact of technology and new modes of communication; questions of sexuality, cultural diversity; mental health; our secular reality and social isolation; mixed-faith couples and effective marriage preparation; ministry with the not-so-Catholic Catholic – being messengers of the Good News of Jesus Christ is a challenging undertaking in 2020 and beyond! 

Takirua 2020 will provide specialist insight about many of these issues from key note speakers from Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia and the United States as well as from the expertise of those who work with our people every day – us! 

  • The conference will begin on Friday evening by ‘naming our reality’ – recognising and describing today’s issues and challenges – āhukahukatia.
  • Saturday will be about interpreting and better understanding those issues – whakamāramatia.
  • Sunday morning will be about choosing what to do in response – kōwhiritia. 

In all of this, Takirua 2020 is about providing tools and practical things to take away and apply at home.


Hutia te rito
o te harakeke
Kei whea, te kōmako e kō?
Kī mai ki ahau
He aha te mea nui
o tēnei ao
Māku e kī atu
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

When the heart is torn
from the flax bush
where will the Bellbird sing?
You ask me
what is the greatest thing
on earth,
I reply 
it is people, people, people.

Who is speaking?

John Vitek MA – president and chief executive of the research wing of America’s biggest publishing house, St Mary’s Press. Co-author of Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics (SMP, 2018), John is a specialist on young peoples’ social isolation in a super-connected world and will share from cutting-edge research.

Belinda Stott and Matt Stott – run a range of relationship workshops in Australasia, having previously been part of the Attitude team and The Parenting Place. Belinda and Matt present annually at the successful ‘Marriage Retreat’ at El Rancho on Kāpiti Coast. They are dynamic presenters who will share their insights around relationships and issues of trust and addiction.

Daniel Ang – director of evangelisation in the Archdiocese of Sydney and previously the same in the Diocese of Broken Bay. With a wealth of experience and expertise in providing strategic direction for youth, marriage and family ministry, Daniel will guide us and expand on the work he introduced at the Parish Leadership and Development Conference in Dunedin last year.

Isabella McCafferty – long-term youth minister and pioneer of the annual Life Teen Summer Camp held in Ōtaki. Isabella has been an appointee by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference to various preparatory and follow-up meetings around the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Rome, 2017–2019. Isabella advocates for the Church to take seriously its recent commitment to involve young people at every level in Church life. 

Chris Ryan MGL – has been involved in leadership in youth ministry for nearly 30 years and is the founder-director of the Areté Centre for Missionary Leadership – a centre he founded in Sydney to form missionary leaders for Catholic ministry in the 21st century. Chris has also been co-editor and author of a number of publications on youth ministry and Pope Francis’ Christus Vivit. With his recent PhD exploring the RCIA as a source for youth ministry in a secular age, Chris will challenge us to read carefully the signs of our times.

Plus a wide range of more than 15 specialist interactive seminar leaders! 

What are the issues? 

Interactive seminars will explore:

  • facilitating high-quality communication;
  • working in multicultural marriage ministry;
  • working in multicultural youth ministry;
  • technology addiction and relationships;
  • social isolation in a super-connected world;
  • mental health in marriage preparation;
  • youth ministry in a secular age;
  • spirituality in a world that can’t keep still – or shut up;
  • planning family naturally;
  • marriage programmes for today’s Church;
  • safeguarding and the Gospel;
  • pornography – everyone gets hurt;
  • a vision for Catholic life beyond the parish;
  • nurturing missionary zeal;
  • positive mental health and wellbeing;
  • gender, sexuality and welcome.

Why should I come?

Because one or more of the following apply. You…

  • want to be enthused and excited about the possibilities and opportunities; 
  • care about your Church and its ministry in today’s society;
  • want to understand more about the complex issues we face;
  • are realistic about the challenges before us;
  • are passionate about marriage and family life;
  • want to celebrate the diversity of our Catholic community;
  • have insights to offer from your own life and ministry;
  • want young people to have the chance to know Jesus Christ within the Catholic tradition; 
  • want to be as effective as possible as a pastoral minister – volunteer or employed;
  • are part of your diocese’ pastoral ministry effort at the local level. 

What else should I know?

ANZAC Day – Takirua 2020: Shaping the Mission is a nationally significant Catholic conference on a significant national day – ANZAC Day 2020. Come and join the conversations in Wellington city on this special weekend. Make the most of the dawn service at the Pukeahu National War Memorial. Enjoy the ‘Monday-ised’ public holiday in Wellington or back at home. 

Choice of two conference dinners – at registration, choose between:

  • a Marriage Ministry-focused InterContinental Hotel conference dinner; or 
  • a Young Church-focused celebration along the waterfront at Black & Gold Events. 

Earlybird pricing 

  • Conference (including Marriage Ministries Dinner) – $200
  • Conference (including Young Church Ministries Dinner) – $170
  • Conference only – $135.

For more information visit and register at http://www.takirua2020.nz or call (04) 496-1731.