This is where PBYM Volunteers explain the impact it's had on their lives.
"Being a volunteer at PBYM is an extraordinary experience and opportunity. Volunteering with PBYM has given me many friendships that will last a lifetime, a stronger faith and opportunity to share my faith with young people. PBYM is an oasis and being part of the team which co-ordinates the daily tasks of PBYM is eye-opening and awesome. The PBYM Centre is a place of happiness and peace, a place that welcomes all. As a volunteer I am honoured to be part of such a special task in the name of God.
I started volunteering with PBYM in September 2015 and, though it can be challenging at times, I have never regretted that decision. In fact, in the past few months, the gateways this volunteering has opened in both my spiritual and personal life has been wonderful. Under the careful and wise guidance of Silvia, the PBYM volunteers, myself included, ventured into the classrooms of 5th Year students in Cork City Presentation schools.
We led many students on the journey of faith using the Alpha Youth series as our guide. The response to this series by different groups of 16/17 year old boys and girls strengthened my own faith in Christ - and human nature in general. The sense of achievement you feel by forming Christ in the young is awe-inspiring and is reason enough to consider volunteering with PBYM.
As a PBYM volunteer I am glad to say I have a proud duty to form Christ in the young, follow the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice and helping the young in general who wish to see the glory of God. By doing this, friendships are made and cemented and a team you learn to trust and rely upon grow up around you. I would recommend volunteering with PBYM to all the dutiful people out there who want to see true faith in the young and future generations. It has been the most interesting and exciting year and I look forward to working with many more volunteers in the years to come. God be with you."
Grace, PBYM Volunteer
"First off, I began as a volunteer in September and was really curious as to what a youth ministry actually did. I had heard the term and read up about various aspects of the Presentation Brothers, but let me say the experience has been something I could never have imagined when starting out. In the last year I have become part of a team of the most amazing people you could ever meet. Each and every one of them has made my experience here so enjoyable and fun.
As a volunteer, I helped facilitate the Alpha Youth Course for secondary school students, helped out at events and retreat days and I attended my first ever Youth 2000 as a representative of PBYM. Every one of these events was unique and enlightening and going as a team meant also tons of good fun."
Edel, PBYM Volunteer
“We didn’t come into this work to “vegetate”, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark”.
The above quote from Pope Francis was possibly one of the stand-out moments of my trip to Poland this summer. Encouraging young people to go out and make a mark on the world. As a young person in today’s society I am equipped with the tools to leave my mark on the world. As a teacher and especially as a religion teacher this is the perfect platform to help the younger generations to also explore and develop what mark they too are also going to leave.
In 2014 I was asked to join the PBYM and after being educated in a Presentation Brothers School I felt it was a nice way to continue to develop the values instilled in me in Colaiste Muire Cobh. I did not know that this would be the start of an amazing journey that would inspire me to reach out of my comfort zone to leave my mark on this world. Since that November I have gone on to work in a Presentation Brothers School, be a leader in the Edmund Rice Summer Camps and go to World Youth Day in Krakow last July.
Being a member of the Youth Ministry Committee in Cork has inspired me to continue to work with young people and to form Christ in them through the teaching of religion in school coupled with providing services outside of school to allow them to leave their mark on the world. These include Social Justice Groups, trips to Lourdes, being ERAC camp leaders, community care and it has also given me ideas and inspiration that I can use in school and in the Action Camps.
My latest experience with the PBYM was in July of this year, World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow. Where 2.5 million young Catholics celebrated their faith and making their mark in this life. The two week trip was one of the most amazing experiences thus far. I have made friends for life and I have been inspired by so many people to continue to leave my mark in this life."
Jennifer B, PBYM Volunteer
"As a student of a Christian Brothers School in Kerry, I was aware of the story of Edmund Rice, but it wasn’t until I began volunteering with the Presentation Brothers Youth Ministry that I discovered the impact that the life and example of Edmund Rice and the Presentation Brothers have on so many people.
I was initially asked if I wanted to become involved with the Presentation Brothers by Treise O’Callaghan who was the then in charge of the Presentation Brothers Youth Ministry. It came as a bit of a surprise to me, but I saw it as an opportunity to get involved in something which was new for me. With the exception of Treise and another volunteer Joanne, I didn’t know anyone else but the nerves quickly vanished. The volunteering with the PBYM has been an amazing experience.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I can be of service to God and my neighbour. Treise, her replacement Silvia, the Brothers and all the volunteers have been amazing examples to me of Christian Charity and service to others, whether it was in the Edmund Rice camps, the Alpha Course, Retreats or being at World Youth Day. Their example has helped me so much in my own faith journey and I will be forever grateful for it.
The example of Edmund Rice in setting up the Presentation Brothers and the hard work and commitment of the Brothers and all those involved to educating young people is something that I think the Catholic Church in Ireland needs to pay attention to and learn from. This is especially because so many of my generation have not been properly taught in the faith or been given the opportunity to take time to discover the beauty and the joy the Catholic Faith has to offer."
Anthony L, PBYM Vounteer