Why Next Generation?
What has brought me to be so involved with Next Generation?
Besides my wonderful and continual upbringing in my Catholic pro-life home I would also put this decision down to the grace of God in my high school experience. These were the moments that have brought me to choose Next Generation and the moments that lead me to both take my faith, my friendship with Jesus and my stance as a pro-lifer seriously.
It was in year 9 that one of my peers asked me what abortion was. I knew very little at this point besides that it was bad and I quote “hurts babies”. I went home and the next morning on the drive to school I asked my mum. I will never forget how my mum wept as she explained in simple yet horrifying terms what abortion is which was eye opening. That it was a procedure that deliberately ended the life of an unborn baby. I went to school and told my friends the answers to their questions, lest I remind you we were only in year 9 around 14 years old.
I noticed my friends and peers were searching for the truth and so was I. I wanted to know my true purpose, I wanted to know who I was and the answers to the enormous controversial issues my family were so passionate about. During this year my lunch times and R.E classes were full of questions. Back and forths with my mum learning things and recalling the answers to my friends. Having healthy debates and growing as friends. But this all changed the following year.
The change I saw was saddening. My friends no longer wanted to ask critical questions. They no longer were searching for the truth. They were different. It was during the term that they went through the Health and sexuality program. When the topic of abortion or any other issue came up they weren’t interested in discussion. They shut down the conversations. I felt pretty alone at this time. The couple of Catholics in my year level that actually did go to Mass on Sundays were too afraid to side with me.
And yes little Amie probably could have been a bit more prudent with the debates she decided to tackle especially that one time on a rainy lunch day I took up the euthanasia debate with the whole room. 1 vs 30 . Lol.
Anyhow it was these years in high school that have inspired me to take a stand for the young people who have no access to the beautiful truth of their dignity, identity in Christ and their value as human beings. After leaving high school I now know the multitudes of other young people besides those in my old high school who likewise are struggling in this over sexualised world to authentically live their Catholic faith to the fullest.
I’m so honoured and filled with joy to share my love for Christ to my fellow young people. To encourage them to critically think in this confusing world and to build a generation of people devoted to serving God through the most vulnerable the unborn. But also to build a generation striving for holiness, purity, and sainthood. A chaste generation that has its eyes fixed on Christ.
I’m so blessed in 2020 to have such wonderful friends who have been my support and prayer warriors. Whether it’s an uplifting text message after a heated online debate, a smile and hug or the ones who have physically journeyed with me to schools, 40 Days for Life and the March for Life. It is only with God’s grace working through you and me that Next Generation is where it is today.
Please keep this important work and our team in your prayers.
Next Generation was established in New Zealand as a programme of Family Life International in 1993, by Angela Reynolds, and Michelle Bayer (now Kaufman). They were inspired by St Pope John Paul ll’s World Youth Day homily that year.
Extract from the homily: “At this stage of history, the liberating message of the Gospel of Life has been put into your hands. And the mission of proclaiming it to the ends of the earth is now passing to your generation. Like the great Apostle Paul, you too must feel the full urgency of the task: “Woe to me if I do not evangelize” (1Cor 9,16). Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people’s hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love.
Young people of “World Youth Day”, the Church asks you to go, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to those who are near and those who are far away. Share with them the freedom you have found in Christ. People thirst for genuine inner freedom.
They yearn for the Life which Christ came to give in abundance. The world at the approach of a new millennium, for which the whole Church is preparing, is like a field ready for the harvest. Christ needs laborers ready to work in his vineyard. May you, the Catholic young people of the world, not fail him. In your hands, carry the Cross of Christ. On your lips, the words of Life. In your hearts, the saving grace of the Lord.”
Inspired by these words Next Generation took root through talks in high schools, groups praying outside abortion clinics, organising Youth Days and LifeFests, and other events. The idea of young people speaking to young people has always been a core focus of Next Generation, creating both a learning experience for the receivers and a way of serving Christ for the leaders.
If you believe that we are the pro-life and pro-love generation, a movement of young Catholics called to ‘proclaim the Gospel of Life,’ we dare you to join in on our mission, get involved and keep this important work in your prayers.