Thursday, 11 April 2024 14:42

'There is a pressing need for chaplaincy to inspire a renewed passion for the Mass': a school chaplain in Leeds diocese explains his vocation

Alex Hill webMy name is Alex Hill (pictured, left), and I am the Lay Chaplain at Holy Family Catholic School in Keighley. I am 25 years young and have a passion for guiding and supporting our students on their spiritual journeys.

I became a Chaplain in a school because I have a passion for supporting and guiding young people through their spiritual and emotional journeys. My desire to provide a safe and nurturing space for students, where they can explore their beliefs, seek guidance, and find comfort during difficult times, motivated me to take on this role. I see it as an opportunity to make a positive impact on students' lives and help them navigate the complexities of adolescence with compassion and understanding all the while helping them journey to a closer relationship with Christ and the Father.

I received similar support myself from a Chaplain when I was younger and was inspired to pay it forward and provide students with the same compassionate guidance and understanding that helped me during my formative years.

My time spent in retreat centres across the country not only deepened my personal connection with Christ but also ignited a desire to share this transformative experience with others. Inspired by the profound sense of peace and spiritual growth I found in these retreats, I am dedicated to creating similar opportunities for students to encounter Christ and explore their faith in meaningful and profound ways.

I received two years of professional training at Maryvale University in Birmingham in youth ministry and school chaplaincy, where I was equipped with the necessary tools and experience. Drawing from my own experiences and the expertise gained through my training, I’m committed to providing compassionate support and guidance to students as they navigate their own spiritual paths.

As a Chaplain in a school, I recognise the need to modernise our approach to chaplaincy while still honouring and celebrating the rich traditions of the Catholic Church. Understanding that young people are drawn to authenticity, passion, and personal testimony, I strive to create a dynamic and engaging environment where these values are embraced. I encourage innovative approaches to faith formation and spiritual growth while ensuring that the timeless traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church are respected and upheld. My goal is to foster a balanced and inclusive spiritual community where students can explore and deepen their faith with reverence and authenticity.

Chaplaincy in schools faces challenges due to the allure of modern life and the absence of a strong connection with Christ through regular mass attendance at home. There is a pressing need for chaplaincy to inspire a renewed passion for the Mass and foster a continued relationship with Christ beyond the school grounds. As a chaplain, I aim to bridge this gap by creating opportunities for students to experience the richness and relevance of the Mass in their daily lives. Through engaging liturgies, meaningful reflections, and intentional discipleship, I seek to cultivate a deeper understanding of the Eucharist and its significance in nurturing a personal relationship with Christ. My goal is to empower students to carry the spirit of the Mass with them beyond the school walls, fostering a lifelong journey of faith and spiritual growth.

To find out more about becoming a school chaplain, please contact your diocese

Read 2881 times Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2024 11:09