"The Church should have a young heart," Young Christian Students (YCS) leader, Mr O'Brien told Australia's bishops at their national conference last week.
"Christ lived and died as a young person (and through the election of the apostles) Christ created a young heart for his Church," he said.
What the Church needs is a "nationally consistent method for training young leaders" that would assist in "making the heart of the Church young again", he said.
Mr O'Brien was addressing the bishops together with Young Christian Workers movement leader, Sarah Taylor.
Ms Taylor assured the Bishops of the desire of YCS and YCW to stand and work with the Bishops in engaging young people in the life of the Gospel and the life of the Church.
"The 'See, Judge and Act' method of self examination called young people to be Christian witnesses and proclaim the Gospel", she said.
"Central to this is the Eucharist and other sacraments; we must encourage young people to be in a relationship with Jesus."
The presentation by Ms Taylor and Mr O'Brien followed an earlier session in which the bishops, under the guidance of the Bishops Commission for Education, had engaged in a pastoral discussion on "Passing the Faith on to Young People".
During their meeting, the bishops also appointed the members of the newly formed Australian Catholic Youth Council with Bishop Grech as their representative.
Other members include, Erica Bernard, Victoria Burrows (WA), Fr Christian Fini, Timothy Davis, Mearon O'Brien, Paul Salmon, Teresa Wilson (Victoria), Maryanne Hacker, Steve Lawrence, Yvette Nehme, Lyndon Cox (NSW), Malcolm Hart (Queensland) and Bruce Ryan (ACT - General Secretariat).
Bishops back multi-media faith initiative
In another decision, the Bishops' Conference also endorsed a multi-media tool for learning about media and faith.
Catholic school students across Australia will have the opportunity to become "cadet reporters" and learn more about the life of Jesus in a new multi-media resource sponsored by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
This multi-media resource is the second part in the Bishops Pastoral document on the media entitled "Go Tell Everyone" which was released last year for World Communications Day.
Specifically, through using this web-based learning too, students are being educated to be wise consumers of the media.
Social Justice Statement to focus on Australia's role as a global citizen
Also at the plenary which concluded last Thursday, the bishops approved a draft of the 2007 Social Justice Sunday Statement, on the theme of "Australia's role as a global citizen".
The statement draws on theological concept of solidarity and neighbourliness and addresses particular Australian issues, including foreign aid, war, the United Nations, environmental issues, and refugees.
Photo: Devett O'Brien, Sarah Taylor and Bishop Eugene Hurley
News from the May 2007 Plenary Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC 16/5/07)
Students gain new 'hands-on' resource for learning about media and faith (ACBC Media Release, 9/5/07)
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Young Christian Workers
Australian Young Christian Students
16 May 2007