Articles Under: Youth Ministry

The Instrumentum laboris describes the scope of the upcoming Synod on Youth, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment with these words: “just as our Lord Jesus Christ walked alongside the disciples of Emmaus, the Church is also urged to accompany all young people, without exception, towards the joy of love” (no. 1). The theme of accompaniment weaves through the document like a melody on which all other harmonies are based. In fact, accompaniment is explained as a non-negotiable within youth ministry. “The accompaniment of younger generations is not an optional element in the task of educating and evangelizing young people, but... Read more
There is a scene in the film Good Will Hunting where Sean (Robin Williams) and Will (Matt Damon) share a pivotal conversation on a bench overlooking a swan-filled lake. The week before, Will quickly and incisively interprets a painting that Sean had created and hung in his office. As Sean says to the younger Will: “You presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine and ripped my [bleeping] life apart.” Will Hunting is a transcendent kind of genius with limitless intellectual abilities and who seemingly already knows everything except for one truly necessary thing: he... Read more
Blessed Pope Paul VI boldly affirmed that, “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize.” [1] If evangelization is in fact the Church’s deepest identity, it logically follows that every Catholic institution must consciously proclaim the Good News to all people and facilitate both their initial encounter and deepening relationship with the Lord Jesus. The content of this Good News is found in the kerygma , the Greek term meaning “initial proclamation.” God the Father revealed himself perfectly in the Person of his Son Jesus Christ, true... Read more
“Behold, the Lamb of God!” Following Christ’s baptism, the Gospel of John recounts how John the Baptist recognizes Jesus walking by and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Two of the Baptist’s disciples, including Andrew, immediately follow Jesus and ask him, “Where are you staying?” to which the Lord replies, “Come and see.” And “so they went … and stayed with him that day” (Jn 1:35-39). The passage beautifully illustrates the “dynamism of vocation” and the process of discernment among the first disciples of Jesus. Specifically it offers a paradigm for the manner by which Christ invites men to share... Read more
A Counter-Cultural Call “Mom, what’s that?” a little girl in the grocery store unabashedly asked as I walked past them in the produce aisle. Slightly embarrassed at her daughter’s rather loud and candid question, her mother simply and timidly responded “She’s a lady who loves Jesus.” I smiled at both mother and daughter and gave a little wave as I kept on in pursuit of the items on my list. In living my call to consecrated religious life over the past thirteen years, there have been plenty of experiences similar to this and I am sure that every sister has... Read more
We often ask children various versions of the same question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What kind of job would you like to have?” Career days at elementary schools are built around this question. When I was in the sixth grade, we were assigned to investigate various careers and do a report about one we might like to pursue. I initially chose “psychologist,” but my father, who wasn’t a big fan of psychology, encouraged me to think of something else. I did my report on forensic pathology. (Spoiler alert: I became a psychologist anyway!) As... Read more
Luego de una larga sucesión de documentos magisteriales orientados a la importancia de un ambiente comunitario que fomente el cultivo de la vocación de cada miembro [1] , el Documento Preparatorio de la próxima XV Asamblea General Ordinaria del Sínodo de los Obispos, “Los jóvenes, la fe y el discernimiento vocacional” [2] , declara: Toda la comunidad cristiana debe sentirse responsable de la tarea de educar a las nuevas generaciones y debemos reconocer que son muchas las figuras de cristianos que la asumen, empezando por quienes se comprometen dentro de la vida eclesial. […] En todas las partes del mundo... Read more
Following a long line of magisterial documents that address the importance of a communal environment conducive to fostering one's vocation, [1] the Preparatory Document of the upcoming XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” [2] states: The entire Christian community should feel the responsibility of educating new generations. In fact, many Christians involved in this work deserve recognition, beginning with those who have assumed this responsibility within ecclesial life...Everywhere in the world, parishes, religious congregations, associations, movements and ecclesial realities exist which can devise and offer young people significant experiences of... Read more
Annual St. John Bosco Conference for Evangelization & Catechesis, July 16-19, 2018, to launch 3 brand new additional tracks: Hispanic Faith and Family track, Diocesan Officials track, and Retreat track. Register here. Or call 740-283-6315.Read more
There is probably a screen in the middle of your living room. There has been a screen in the middle of American living rooms since the 1950s. Its presence rearranged furniture and changed the focus of the ones sitting in those chairs—no longer looking at one another, but pointed at that screen. There is probably a screen in the middle of your parish youth room or classroom, too. Maybe it is a large white screen built into the wall with a 4K projector, or an old console TV precariously perched atop a moving cart. It wasn’t always at the center,... Read more