Our Mission

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Catholic Youth Services is the Archbishop’s agency for youth and young adults within the Archdiocese of Sydney. Our mission is to walk with young people towards an ever deeper encounter with Christ, the Church and one another. We do this through three key areas:

Parish Youth Ministry. Our primary task is supporting, guiding and building up parish based youth ministry in order for young people to find communities of other young people in their parish and local area. We offer regular formation and support opportunities for parish youth ministry coordinators and those who want to move into youth leadership. We work with priests and parishes to help create, sustain or expand youth ministry at a local level. We also maintain a library of books, programs and audio visual resources which can be borrowed or used by youth leaders.

Events. We work across parishes and deaneries hosting various spiritual, social and formative events which encourage young people to know that they are not alone. Our events are open to all young people; from those very active in the faith to those who are beginning to explore the Christian message. One of our most popular events is City Silence, a weekly Holy Hour on Tuesday nights at St Mary’s Cathedral followed by a social dinner. We also put out a monthly What’s Happening newsletter highlighting a range of activities for young people across the Archdiocese and beyond.

NET Mission Team. For over ten years the Archdiocese has hosted a mission team made up of young Catholics keen to spread the Gospel. The primary work of our National Evangelisation Team (NET) is animating school retreat days but they also work in universities, parishes and at a host of major Archdiocesan initiatives. We are always on the lookout for young people in Sydney who would be willing to give a year to being part of a mission team.

Catholic Youth Services is an active and vibrant agency of the Archdiocese. We are at the service of the parishes, groups, movements and young people of Sydney. We are always open to receiving ideas and feedback and we love to have visitors at our offices in Homebush (we make really good coffee)!

Our Team

Bernard Toutounji

Bernard Toutounji

Director

Bernard joined Catholic Youth Services at the start of 2013. He began work in the Archdiocese in 2007 preparing the liturgies of WYD2008 (from which he has only recently recovered). From 2009 Bernard worked as the Education Officer of the Life, Marriage and Family Centre. Part of his duties included planning and running the annual Archdiocesan Youth Leaders’ Formation Course.

It was while working at the Life, Marriage and Family Centre that Bernard met his now wife Jane. They married at the end of 2012. They have one child with another on the way on 2015.

Bernard has a passion for issues around faith, morality and anthropology. He writes a syndicated column and speaks at conferences, parishes and youth groups. He tutors and lectures in theology at the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic Adult Education Centre.

One of Bernard’s favourite quotes is from Edith Stein, a Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism, became a Carmelite nun and was eventually executed by the Nazis. She said, “All those who seek truth, seek God, whether this is clear to them or not”. What Bernard most enjoys about his work is creating opportunities for young people to encounter that truth.

Tomasz Juszczak

Tomasz Juszczak

Youth Ministry Support Officer

Tomasz is the Youth Ministry Support Officer at Catholic Youth Services, where he has worked since May 2013. He has also been working as a parish youth ministry coordinator since 2012 at John the Baptist parish, Bonnyrigg Heights.

Tom married his wife Sarah on Easter Saturday in April 2013. The two of them are passionate about sharing their faith with others and serve in various ministries together to this end. They also share a great love of Our Lady and St John Paul the Great (who they are pretty sure conspired to bring them together).

Before going into fulltime youth ministry, Tom completed a Bachelor in Health and Exercise Science at the University of New South Wales and worked as a rehabilitation consultant.  He later earned a Master of Arts in Theological studies at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Tom enjoys watching and playing a wide range of sports and also fancies himself a bit of a film buff. In his free time he likes to have a solid chat and catch-up with friends. He especially enjoys all the aforementioned activities when they are accompanied by a good beer or two.

Emma O’Shea

Emma O’Shea

Events Coordinator

Emma, originally from the beautiful Coffs Harbour moved to Sydney in 2007 to attend The University at Notre Dame, where she studied Film and Theatre which led to her involvement with Artes Christi Performing Arts. She directed the family favourite Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 2011 and in 2012 directed the sold out season of Fiddler on the Roof. For the past 4 years she has helped coordinate events such as Christmas in the City Local Tours and last year their first Christmas in the City: European Tour.

Emma previously worked for Nikon Australia in sales and ran training workshops around the country. She assisted with Nikon’s involvement in Tropfest, help coordinate the launch of the new Nikon 1 platform and organise the Sales and Marketing conferences. After 3 years at Nikon however, she still is a mediocre photographer…

Emma joined Catholic Youth Services in June 2013 and in that time has overseen events including the WYD2013 commissioning Mass, “The Rio Experience”, “Evenings with Pope Francis”, “Deanery of Origin – RAW Challenge” and the hugely popular “Dating & Degustation”. She also coordinates the priests, singers and servers every single week for City Silence (and still keeps smiling).

Natalie Ambrose

Natalie Ambrose

NET Support and Special Projects Officer

Natalie is a teacher, holding a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts: Double major in History and Theatre Studies from The University of Notre Dame Australia. While studying she worked as the Youth Minister at St Luke the Evangelist Parish Revesby, leading a group of parish pilgrims to World Youth Day in 2008 and continuing youth ministry activities until 2011.In 2012 she was part of the WYD Rio Committee, and led an Archdiocese of Sydney Pilgrimage to WYD Rio in 2013. She has been an ongoing organiser of Theology on Tap and the iWitness Conference as well as having volunteered for Cradio – Catholic Radio Online.

Natalie loves theatre and the arts and one day wishes to further study in this area, she joined us here at Catholic Youth Services in August 2012.

CYS_LOGO

The Catholic Youth Services logo is designed to demonstrate that our agency – and all that we do with schools, parishes, youth and young adults – is on a tangent towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

This journey towards Christ is one that never ends, we all find ourselves at different places, and we invite young people to join us from wherever they are at that time. Catholic Youth Services in all its outreach activities – social, spiritual or formative – seeks to support and guide youth and young adults towards an ever deeper encounter with Christ, with themselves and with the Church.

The most striking aspect of the logo is the face of Christ. Perhaps surprisingly the face of Christ is not commonly used in Christian logos; more often we see crosses, doves, lights etc. We chose this face (drawn by a young Catholic woman in Sydney) because we believe that the face of Christ, in a unique way, speaks directly to the heart. Before Christ took up his cross, he walked upon the earth and he invited young men and women to follow him. We know from the Scriptures that many of them left everything at that very moment to do so. What those first followers encountered 2000 years ago was the face of Christ, and it is that face that we wish to re-present in a simple yet striking way.

The face is surrounded by a stylised halo, the iconographic symbol for sanctity. The halo is inspired by the ancient mosaic of Christ Pantocrator from Hagia Sophia – Church of the Holy Wisdom of God – which served for almost one thousand years as one of the most beautiful Christian Churches in the world. Including the halo in the logo affirms that Jesus is more than a prophet or a good man; he is the Christ who definitively said of himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

The fonts and colours of the logo have been chosen as they are simple and fresh. The work of Catholic Youth Services is to take the ancient faith and showcase it in a way that speaks to each new generation. Like the Christian journey, it is a task that is ever constant.

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Catholic Youth Services

(02) 9764 4357

info@catholicyouthservices.org

108 The Crescent
Homebush, New South Wales, Australia 2140