Dominica’s Catholic Youth Centre took 20 years from conception to the official opening ceremony of Phase I last March, but according to Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau: “Everything happens in God’s own time-the right time”.
Bishop Malzaire spoke at the Blessing Ceremony of Phase I of the Diocesan Youth Centre, located near the Botanic Gardens end of Independence Street, Roseau on March 7. The Bishop described the facility as one of its kind in the Antilles.
An article on sundominica.com stated that Phase I of the centre consists of the basic necessities: an office for the coordinator; a meeting room for small and medium sized groups; a prayer and counselling room; a kitchenette and washroom facilities.
“The cost of construction was EC$548,142.48. The funds came from the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, United Kingdom ($295, 149.36); Pontifical Mission Society, Rome ($93,952.59); a group from Germany ($104,615.50); Food for the Poor, Florida ($16,119.10) and the Diocese of Roseau ($38,305.93),” the article said.
It is anticipated that Phase II and III will include a large conference meeting hall and a completed Phase III with a hostel and dormitory, said Mahalia Paul, the Diocesan Coordinator of the Youth Ministry.
The Catholic Youth Centre will be managed by the Youth Commission, a group appointed by Bishop Malzaire “to oversee his ministry… and implementation of the pastoral plan”. The Commission’s goal, according to Paul is to “prepare Catholic youth for Christian life and mission by fostering a deeper sense of Catholic identity in an environment where talents and gifts are utilised for the development of self, church and community”.
The centre will serve as a hub for resources and training for parish youth and young adult leaders and provide leadership training, retreats, day camp training, counselling, movie nights, games and individual, family and group counselling, among other functions. In short, it will provide a safe, value-based environment for young people around Dominica, Paul said.