On Sunday, February 27, Bishop Robert Llanos of St John’s-Basseterre blessed and opened the St Lwanga Diocesan Youth Center at Stapleton Lane, St John’s, Antigua.
The diocesan centre will focus on youth activities and advancing the Church’s mission of hearing the call of the Lord to serve others and the building of spiritual lives.
The history of this building is inextricably linked to the history of the St Joseph’s Academy and dates to the 1950s. A community of Christian Brothers was sent to Antigua in 1958 on the conditions that the Council would agree that the parish would provide the Brothers with a school and house.
A property was located, and it was decided that it would be used for the residence of the Christian Brothers until their departure in the 1990s. The Holy Spirit Sisters lived there until they recently relocated.
After it became vacant, Bishop Llanos decided to give the building to young people as a youth centre, not only for Antigua, but for the Diocese.
The centre will provide after-school care and homework assistance; support, care and counselling; personal development through programmes to enhance life skills, self-image and vocational motivation; professional development programmes to focus on health and safety essentials, time management, work/life balance, school/life balance, backyard gardening, craft training; spiritual development; entrepreneurship training; job placement programmes; support through life transitions; social interaction and professional clinical counselling services and guidance support.