The Catholic Youth Team (CYT) assists the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Christchurch to connect with the young people of our Diocese, sharing the Gospel with them and journeying with them; preparing, teaching and empowering them for Mission as Disciples of Jesus Christ.

CYT is a ministry to the young people of the Diocese of Christchurch and serves on behalf of the Bishop of Christchurch to provide training and support for local youth ministries and retreats and other dynamic events for the youth and young adults of our region.

CYT was established in 1984 with the vision, dedication and hard work of many supporters including Father Mark Moesbergen who appointed as the first Youth Chaplain and Kevin Cawley who was the original Youth Coordinator. Sister Kath Rushton joined Fr Mark and Kevin in the early days. CYT has been blessed by the wonderful ongoing support and investment of our Bishops over the years as well as many fantastic staff and volunteers.

From the earliest days the priorities for CYT were to outreach to the Catholic Youth in the Diocese, support Parish Youth Groups and connecting with young people from outside the Catholic Community. Some of the initial years of the Ministry included a Tour of the rock-musical, ‘Godspell’  and the launch of many new Youth Groups througout the region as well as the establishment of some key events such as Leadership training days, Antioch weekends and Sports night.

The Ministries current vision and Ministry strongly reflects and builds on those initial priorities and many of those original events continue in some form today.


Below is a brief description of the four key aspects of CYT’s Ministry.

Parish Support Ministry Support
and Formation

The grassroots ministry that happens in our Parishes continues to be a a key focus of CYT. Our aim is to ensure that Parishes are working towards a sustainable model of Ministry with young people in their community that suits their needs and ensures a strong ministry with young people for future generations.

Our Parish Support person travels around the Diocese with other staff, providing training, formation, resources and mentoring for our Youth Ministry workers and volunteers.

The Parish Support Coordinator works closely with our Formation coordinator who offers ongoing Leadership training and formation for our developing Youth and Young Adult leaders.  These young people are often key young leaders in our Parishes and Schools.

This ongoing investment has seen a steady growth in the number of Parishes who are committed to establishing a Youth Ministry in their communities.

More About Parish Youth Ministry

Youth Events

Since CYT was established, Dynamic Youth events have been part of our ministry. Our team offer exciting, high quality events that are open to young people from throughout the Diocese. These events are lots of fun but also help give young people an authentic and personal faith experience, which help them develop a deep and lifelong relationship with Jesus and his Church and build networks between our Catholic Communities.

Some of the Key events held each Year include our Antioch Camp (Yr 11-13), Revolution Camp (Yr 7-10), our Sports Day and Sports Night and other events such as worship nights and Youth Rally’s.

More about our events

Music Ministry

Music is an essential part of our ministry with young people both in our Liturgy and other events. Our Music team, which mostly consists of volunteer youth and young adults, are formed, trained and mentored by our Music Team coordinator. The team provide Vibrant, liturgically and theologically appropriate Hymns and Praise and Worship music for almost all our major events throughout the year as well as for Diocesan Youth Masses and other special Parish and school events when requested.

We have also started providing music training and resources for some of our Parish youth music teams.

More about our Music Ministry

Mission Team

Another major element of our ministry is our Mission team, a group of vibrant faith filled young adults, trained and supported by the CYT Staff. Mission Team is a 11 month  residential volunteer / youth ministry training programme.

Our young leaders are trained in youth ministry and retreat work are and supported by CYT staff to journey throughout the Diocese of Christchurch sharing the good news with young people in our schools and parishes through fun and thought provoking activities, drama, skits and personal sharing.

More about Mission Team


Just as our Diocese is just a small part of the Universal Church so CYT is part of that much greater body. CYT supports and is supported by other organisations not just in our Diocese but also Youth Ministry organisations and movements throughout New Zealand and other parts of the World. Our staff are representatives on the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Council for Young People and our young people  are encouraged and supported to participate in National and international events for Young people.

Our model for youth ministry aims to reflect the New Zealand Bishops documents ‘Tu Kahikatea’, a Framework for Catholic Ministry with Young People in Aotearoa New Zealand Comprehensive Ministry. Our Youth Workers and Volunteers abide by the Standards for Catholic Youth and Young Adult Ministry (Hikoi Tahi) and the National Safeguarding guidelines.

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