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Finding a home in the church

Thea Kurniawan  |  21 August 2018

Noel ChandramoghanOriginally from Malaysia, Noel Chandramoghan (pictured) is a minister at 24:7 Youth Ministry in Perth, and Youth Minister at Holy Rosary Parish, Nedlands. He says that the Church can be a great place for young Catholic migrants to find kindred spirits, and feel more at home in a new country.

How does being part of a Catholic youth group like 24:7 Youth Ministry help people feel from different backgrounds and cultures feel more included?

Our aim is to give young Catholics, including those of different backgrounds, a safe haven. Especially for migrants who don’t know many people when they first move to a new environment, they can find a home through the church and/or youth groups and meet people of the same goals and mindset. This inclusivity is something anyone can depend on, and that’s a great feeling.

You’ve called Perth home for 10 years now. To what extent do you feel included in your youth group community?

Before being part of a youth group, I wasn’t actively practising my faith. Two years ago, I was going through a rough time. I was worried I wouldn’t meet the English requirements for university and my future was unclear. I experienced a conversion when some friends invited me to a week-long camp. I was reluctant at first, but very grateful that I attended as it led me to live out a life pursing God’s will and doing His work in the world. After this camp, I felt like I needed to give back to the community and share my faith.

How can the Church better support migrant Catholics?

There are many churches offering Masses in various languages or targeting specific communities and while that may be a great start to increasing inclusivity towards migrant Catholics, it creates more groups within groups.

It’s difficult to give a straightforward answer, but possibly parishes could set up multicultural community dinners where people can bring their own special cultural dish.

Food will always bring people together from all walks of life.

 

Topic tags: healthycommunitylife, thecatholictradition

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