What is Mission Team?
The CYT Mission Team was established as an outreach of the Christchurch Catholic Youth
Team in 2011. The Team consist of volunteers (18-29 years old) who travel principally around
the city and diocese of Christchurch and beyond, sharing the Gospel with young people. This
can include visits to regional Canterbury, the West Coast, Waimakariri and other parts of the
South Island to help facilitate Catholic youth ministry. The team members commit to serving
youth and young adults over an 11-month period. The team is made up of 4 – 6 people and
they all live in a house together which is supported from the Diocese.
During their volunteer programme their main role is to run school programmes (Retreats) in
Catholic High Schools and Parishes in and around Christchurch. Other parts of their
programme are, but not limited to the following: School visits, youth group sessions,
diocesan youth and other events, parish sacramental programmes, outreach programmes
(supporting those that are vulnerable and less fortunate in our communities), supporting the
overall undertakings of the Mission Team ministry.
How will your young person be supported?
Mission Team volunteers are supported by the Catholic Youth Team (full time paid youth
workers for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch). The CYT Manager has overall responsibility
for the youth ministry in the Diocese including the Mission team, there is also a Mission and
Outreach Coordinator and Supervisor whose role is to organise and support the Mission
Team Ministry. Other Catholic Youth Team Staff are always there to support where possible.
We understand that your young person’s Hauora (Well-being) is extremely important and
vital to the programme which they are signing up for. The staff have a good understanding on
how to support team members overall Hauora and we do this through, providing mental /
emotional, physical wellbeing support through regular pastoral care sessions with the
supervisor as well as with external service providers, as necessary. Spiritual well-being is
supported through an assigned chaplain priest who meets with them as needed, usually
monthly, and provides spiritual formation. We provide many opportunities for social events
either organised at their house or other events with like-minded people to support their
social well-being, and help them make new friends, as well as plenty of opportunities for
them to experience new things as a team.
We will also assign each volunteer a mentor to journey with throughout the year, this is
someone outside the organisation whom they can met with monthly to talk about how they
are going and receive advice on what career paths they would like to take when they leave
This is just some of the many ways your young person will be supported throughout the year
by an incredible community here in Christchurch who love to support the Mission Team in
any way they can.
What are the benefits to your young person doing Mission Team?
There are many benefits to your young person doing Mission Team, for personal and career
development, here are a few key benefits of doing Mission Team.
- Developing their spirit of community and service
– Living in the Mission Team environment where they live and work with the
same people, team members quickly learn the concept of sacrificial love and
thinking of the good of others as well as or before oneself.
– Team members confidence will grow immensely, as they are constantly
encouraged and supported to step out of their comfort zone through
formation and opportunities such as: public speaking (sometimes in large
crowds), meeting a variety of new people (from youth, to teachers / principals,
clergy, and life-long friends), collaboration, event planning and facilitation,
self-reflection and evaluation, and generally taking on challenging tasks which
they may not have thought they could do.
- Youth Work Experience:
– Our team members will receive extensive training and practical skills in how to
work with youth, through national and local youth work trainings and the
practical part of being a full-time youth worker in school or parishes.
– Your young person will be given the opportunity to complete an online youth
ministry formation course through the Franciscan University.
– The youth work experience which they receive can be an entry pathway for
them into a multitude of different careers such as: Employed Youth Work,
Teaching / Education Sector, Parish / Church Work, Social work, Counselling,
Community Service Jobs and many more.
- Ongoing Support:
– Mission Team members will receive ongoing formation and support for the
duration of the programme, this is done formally every Monday when we
provide a variety of different trainings.
– We also have good connections with the University of Canterbury. Later in the
year staff come in and provide careers advice and support for scholarships and
future university applications if team members are interested in this.
– This may be your young person’s first year out of home, and we are well
equipped and experienced to help them through this and have set up the
appropriate systems where possible. We have a good balance of
independence and treating the team as adults for them to learn as well as
good support systems.
– When care for our volunteers is outside our qualifications, we will always
endeavour to refer them to seek professional support, as necessary.
– Your Young person will learn effective communication, through the many
professional communication channels which are needed for the overall
undertakings of the Ministry.
– Training in managing diversity, differences, and conflict resolution – potential
conflict is everywhere, in work, family and yes even ministry life. We will teach
team members how to understand differences and resolve conflict safely and
What support can you be to Mission Team?
There are many ways which you can support your young person while they are on Mission
Team. A big one is through prayer, if you are not religious that is no problem just checking in
to say ‘I’m thinking of you’ is a massive help. But here are some other practical ways which
you can support.
If you live in Christchurch you can support by being a part of the Mission Team
Whanau, invite the team around for dinner if you can, or if its possible drop off
supplies which you think might surprise them. This has been effective in the past and
has meant that the team members from outside of Christchurch have a family
environment to be a part of.
The Mission Team are required to fundraise $3,000 towards the ministry, so if
you can support them with this fundraising in any way, that would be hugely
There are several events throughout the year that you can attend to see what
your young person does on Mission Team. Our thanksgiving weekend and the
end of the year is an important time of celebration and recognition where all
the staff, families, youth, and young adults come together to recognise the
incredible work the Mission Team has done. We love having Whanau join us
for this time.
It is important that the Whanau feel comfortable and confident with their young person’s
decision to do Mission Team, or you may like to encourage your young person if you believe
this programme would be right for them. If you have any further questions, please do not
hesitate to ask.