Dear Parish Family,
"Keep Calm and Go to Youth Group"
This saying was given to me on a poster as a Christmas gift from one of the Youth Ministry teens, and it is amazing to me how this phrase, which is a play on the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" from the 1939 motivational poster of the British government, so appropriately describes what attending Youth Ministry can do for a teenager and his/her relationship with God. Attending a Youth Ministry event is not simply coming to hang out in the gym. It is the opportunity to relate to other teenagers in the way that Christ calls us to be in relationship with each other and to see the face of God.
As our Parish's Coordinator of Youth Ministry, I have the privilege of seeing the face of God in the youth of our Parish every day. In our Confirmation Program, I teach the "Going Deeper" class, which gives me the opportunity to work with those 8 th graders who recognize Christ in their lives and are ready to put our faith into action. I also direct our High School Youth Ministry, which challenges high-schoolers to continue to be witnesses of Christ in their lives, in season and out of season. Our Youth Ministry is a great place for our teens to continue to grow in their Faith after Confirmation. It is a place for teens to bond with other teens who share their Catholic Faith, a place where it is not only OK to be Catholic, but it's COOL to be Catholic! It is a place where teens are challenged to respond to Blessed Pope John Paul II's invitation to youth: "My dear young people, the Church needs saints!"
Youth Ministry usually meets every other Sunday in the Gym from 7:00-9:00PM for Youth Nights , which include faith formation, games, music, faith-sharing, and social time. Last fall, we had 40 teens spend the weekend at our Parish for our Fall Retreat on the theme: "Now is the Time!" We have special events, including Five Guys,16 Handles, Rollerskating, Bowling, Mass with brunch following, and do service work at Hope House. We serve in Parish events such as the Confirmation Retreat, the Living Stations of the Cross, and hosting the younger children of our parish at Kids Day/Night Out. We also CELEBRATE at our Christmas Party, our End-of-Year Cookout, and other social gatherings. This summer a group of teens will be attending the highly anticipated Steubenville Youth Conference in Steubenville, Oh where teens from across the country will gather for faith formation, music, and fellowship. I hope and pray that our Youth Ministry may be a place where teens form lifelong relationships with God, the Church, and one another!
If you have a high-schooler in your family, I invite him/her to try out our Youth Ministry! I also ask that you please offer a Hail Mary today for the youth of our Parish. They face a very challenging culture, a culture that in many ways has forgotten its Christian roots. Youth Ministry encourages teenagers to engage and interact with each other in a faith-filled setting and encounter Christ in a way that will remind them of God's everlasting love for us so that when they are facing the difficulties of our culture they know that they can "Keep Calm and Go to Youth Group."