Home 9 Article 9 Celebrating our Young People

An article shared by

Dio Comms Team

Published on

March 4, 2024

Young Church is alive and well in the Diocese of Palmerston North! 

From learning about servant leadership at YCL to having fun at Life Teen Summer Camp and celebrating our epic youth ministers, have a read of what’s been going on for our young people over the past few months.

Young Catholic Leader (YCL) 2023

YCL was held in December 2023 in the beautiful Pohangina Valley. It is a programme specifically designed for Year 12 Students heading into Year 13 to serve their respective school communities in the way of servant leadership. It is lead by the Diocesan Young Catholic Office, with support from our school chaplains and diocesan youth ministers.

We had about 50 year 12 students attend from both Catholic and State colleges. A special note of thanks to the Page Trust and the Catholic Charities for their support of this programme.

Take a look at the photos below.

Connecting with God at Life Teen Summer Camp 2024

More than 300 young participants, chaperones and volunteer leaders attended this year’s Life Teen Summer Camp based in Cambridge, from 16 to 20 January.

This 8th year of camp offered the young people opportunities to connect with Jesus through keynote sessions, group discussions and fun.

Among those taking part from parishes around the country, Palmerston North Diocese had groups from Hastings, New Plymouth, Whanganui, and Palmerston North.

Read the reflection from one Whanganui camper here.

Fostering Christian musical talents at Festival One

Another Christian Summer event for young people that took place in the Waikato, was the Festival One Christian Music Festival, 26–29 January, staged in Karapiro, just out of Cambridge.

Festival One, formerly known as Parachute Christian Music Festival and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, showcases music, art and community.

The Palmerston North Diocese Young Church office organised a group from Hastings and Palmerston North to attend, with the aim of exciting our young musicians into using their musical talents for service in the Church.

Read more about it here.

Bishop receives warm welcome at St Mary’s, Foxton


Bishop John was treated to a heartfelt welcome by the staff, students and community of St Mary’s Catholic School in Foxton, on the Feast of St Brigid, February 1.

Following local Kawa-custom the visit began with Pōwhiri, and as Bishop John entered St Mary’s Church for the first time, the beautiful call of karanga from Whaea Ani Waston and Whaea Ani Rauhihi filled the air, signalling the start of this special occasion.

Read the article here. 



Unite National Youth Festival

The Unite National Youth Festival Was held 2-5th February for the Syro-Malabar Youth Community. 12 young people from our Diocese attended this national event.

The Syro-Malabar Community represents the Indian community from Kerala, India. Within our diocese, we are fortunate to have several Rosminian priests belonging to this community. They are in full communion with the Pope and say Mass in both the Syro-Malabar Rite and the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Check out some of the photos below!

Representatives on the Council for Young People

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) has a group called the Council for Young people which advises the bishops in matters pertaining to young people in the Church.

Recently Susilo Kentjana, Youth Minister in the New Plymouth Parish was appointed by Bishop John Adams to be the diocesan representative for Palmerston North. 

Susilo has extensive youth ministry experience both in Indonesia and New Zealand, particularly while he was part of the ICPE Mission in Wellington! We are thrilled to have Susilo in this role and we congratulate him on recently becoming a citizen of New Zealand.

The NZCBC asked Nick Wilson to vacate his diocesan chair to be the new chair of this council. Nick has been the diocesan representative since 2018. Nick has a teaching background and has been involved in young church for the best part of 30 years.

Nick Wilson

Nick Wilson

Nick has been asked to be the new Chair for the Council of Young People

Susilo Kentjana

Susilo Kentjana

Susilo has been appointed to the Council for Young People as the diocesan representative for Palmerston North.

Celebrating our Youth Ministers

We are celebrating our young ministers!

  • Susilo has become a NZ Citizen!
  • Rain Forest our Young Church minister in Whanganui is getting married next month.
  • Joylene Whibley has extended her role as Chaplain at SHC Napier to also working as the Young Vinnies animator there!
  • Faaki Tuanaki is working hard in Hastings and in addition has been appointed as part time Pasifika Liaison to SHC Napier.
  • We welcomed Chris Lee to the Ecumenical Tertiary Chaplaincy at WITT in the Taranaki.


We are farewelling the fabulous Veronica McCaw. Veronica has been animating the Vinnies space in Palmerston North as the Young Vinnies Coordinator. Thank you, Veronica, for your every effort in this important mahi – we will miss you!

Also, Tausilia McClutchie will be well known to many of you. She is the Chaplain at St. Peter’ College and Citywide Youth Minister for Palmerston North. Tausilia also worked for the diocese in Whanaganui, animating young church there. Tausilia’s nearly 8-year employment with our diocese has been one of the longest in recent history in youth ministry. She is persuing other opportunities in Wellington.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This