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Thursdays 6.30 – 8.30pm in the ‘Upper Room’ St. Raphael’s Church 

Just what is Youth 2000 anyway?


Youth 2000 is an independent, international initiative that helps young people plug back into God at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. Its main distinguishing feature is the emphasis it places on celebration of the Mass and Adoration of the Eucharist; next come a focus on active evangelisation and the organisation of retreats and spiritual events for young people throughout the world.


Youth 2000 works alongside both priests as well as religious communities, such as the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Community of St. John, within the Church and is open to any young adult who wants to take part – it’s not ‘members only’ for the simple reason it has no members. The initiative is active in many parts of the world. In the UK, it’s a registered charity and the National Office is based near Leeds.


Since 1991, Youth 2000 has helped thousands of young adults to ‘come home’ to the Church and to grow spiritually. This growth happens by experiencing the love of God, through prayer and also a sense of belonging, leading to a renewed faith in Christ and His Church. The best proof of its success is the many young people who are at the heart of the initiative, and who offer what they have received to others of their generation. 


How would you describe Youth 2000?


The simple answer is that it’s an initiative whose driving force is the Holy Spirit. But to be more specific, here are some of the main features that mark it out: 


Youth 2000 is focused on direct access to Jesus in the Eucharist


Youth 2000 promotes a deep focus on Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, creating a worldwide network of youth gathered around the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. This ability to have ‘live’ access to Jesus, through the Mass and Adoration, is at the heart of the Youth 2000 charism. Young people find the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist magnetic.

Youth 2000 sticks to the Bible and the official teaching of the Church


Youth 2000 encourages participants to dust off their bibles and get reading.


At retreats, it also encourages people to keep closely to the official teachings of the Church, drawing on the Scriptures, the Catechism and on papal encyclicals – rather than offering them simply personal points of view. Equally, however, people are encouraged to think and to ask questions - discussion groups and reasoned explanations of the faith are both hallmarks of Youth 2000 events. 


Youth 2000 match-makes young people with Mary

The Virgin Mary is Youth 2000’s second favourite celebrity (after Jesus). Young people who participate in its events and retreats soon pick up the rhythm of the Rosary and through praying about Mary’s involvement in the life of Jesus, get to know her well – including those who never used to bother much with her. The reason for pointing people to Mary is so that she can whisk them straight to Christ.


Youth 2000 worships God in a way that’s relevant to young adults

Youth 2000 has a knack of bringing traditional forms of worship alive to young people in a way they can relate to. Its prayer festivals resound with live music, with a dedicated music ministry leading people in worship with contemporary Christian songs. Its style of worship is down-to-earth and highly participative – its services are not performances – everyone’s involved. But it’s also liturgically sound. There’s no lying around on bean-bags wearing healing crystals or anything like that.


Youth 2000 encourages time out for spiritual things

So often in the modern world we live life on a very fast treadmill. Youth 2000 helps young people step away from the ‘buzz’ of the world, slow down and spend some real time in prayer. It also encourages young people to rediscover the power of the sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession) and the value of penance (in the form of prayer, fasting and almsgiving).


 Youth 2000 energises the couch potatoes

A useful way to think of Youth 2000 retreat is as a ‘Hymn Gym’, where young people get a spiritual work-out (but in a good way!). Often people turn up to events a bit spiritually adrift but find that they come back re-energised and enthusiastic for the faith. The retreats kick-start people’s participation in parish life and encourage them to be more actively involved in the life of the Church, of Youth 2000 and in wider issues of social justice.


 Youth 2000 spreads the word

Youth 2000 takes seriously the call of the late Pope John Paul II to evangelise other young people. It encourages young people to devote a period of their life in the service of the Church, offering them training and study in schools of evangelisation to help them to do this. Young adults who have been touched by the work of the initiative actively witness to the love of God in their universities, schools, homes, on the streets, and places of work. 


Youth 2000 runs a variety of activities

Its focus on events means that Youth 2000 sponsors and runs many activities for young people throughout the UK. You can find out more under the events section of our website. However, to give you a flavour, these are the kind of activities it organises:


Residential weekend prayer festivals ( Walsingham/Glastonbury/London)

Day School retreats


Four-week residential courses on Formation and Evangelisation

Weekend Courses of Formation and Evangelisation

Music Leadership Retreats

Street Evangelisation

Parish retreats


For further information about your nearest prayer group and event diary, please visit our web site www.youth2000.org or e-mail christopher.byrne@onetel.net


Alternatively you can phone Chris on 020 8390 1174