Heartworks grew out of the work of the MSC Lay and Professed Council and the Lay MSC groups that used to gather at Douglas Park in the Heartworks building. The MSC (Chevalier) spirit forms an essential basis for the group.
The original aim of Heartworks was to hold post-school retreats for Year 12 students graduating from Chevalier College (an MSC school) that would provide them with a retreat after a potentially stressful schooling year and a chance to take stock before entering into a new phase of their life. More importantly, it would show them a way to remain connected with the MSC (Chevalier) spirit (if and when they want it) and a group of other young people willing to journey together.
However, Heartworks quickly broadened into a more expansive community involving people from Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, Southern Highlands, and the surrounding areas with a focus on young adults.
Chevalier Youth began in the parish of St Thomas the Apostle, Blackburn, VIC, in response to the community who expressed a desire for something to engage the young.
The group takes its name and inspiration from Jules Chevalier, ‘to be on Earth the heart of God’, by seeking to be upstanding members of society while living out our faith.
Its overall structure is locally based, giving accessibility and autonomy to each group within its umbrella, with flexibility and adaptability available to each community's need or capacity.
The Blackburn group is the first in this network and offers a safe and affirming space for young LGBTQIA+ Catholics and allies, with a strong focus on social justice action and formation for leadership.