Articles Under: Youth Ministry

On March 25 th , Pope Francis released Christus Vivit , “Christ is alive!” This post-synodal exhortation is addressed both to young people (16 to 30 year-olds) and the entire Church. Rich with inspirational quotes and practical suggestions, the document contains many insights about youth, for youth, and for those who minister to youth, while raising many important questions that need to be addressed. About Youth A young person stands on two feet as adults do, but unlike adults, whose feet are parallel, he always has one foot forward, ready to set out, to spring ahead. Always racing onward. (140)... Read more
Annual St. John Bosco Conference for Evangelization & Catechesis , July 15-18, 2019, to include 3 newer tracks: Hispanic Faith and Family track, Diocesan Officials track, and Retreat track. Register here. Or call 740-283-6315.Read more
This is a paid advertisement in the April- June 2019 issue. Advertisements should not be viewed as endorsements from the publisher. To order the book or for more information from Ave Maria Press click here or call (800) 282-1865, ext. 1.Read more
Head buried in her screen, she was more concerned with live-tweeting the event than listening to the speaker. She was so busy scrolling through social media, she didn’t realize she had walked past a friend she hadn’t seen in years. She chose a seat based on proximity to an electric outlet and was constantly asking the adult sitting by the charger on the bus to top off her phone. She arrived home cranky and sleep deprived because she had stayed up too late each night scrolling through the conference hashtags. I could be describing any teen since the invention of... Read more
On September 23, 2017, the Catholic Church celebrated the beatification of a farm boy from Oklahoma. Thirty-two years earlier, in a small town in Guatemala, “Padre Apla’s” was martyred in his rectory in the middle of the night. Stanley Rother was born in 1935 in Okarche, Oklahoma. His bucolic family was very faithful and prayed a Rosary every night after dinner, kneeling at the table. Unbeknownst to his family, Stanley contemplated a call to the priesthood while he rode the tractor in the field. In 1953, he went to seminary in San Antonio. There he worked in the seminary’s bindery... Read more
I Give Thanks to God As a confirmation facilitator, it feels like a “rescue mission” trying to re-ignite faith, hope, and charity in souls that are growing cold and are in need of conversion. The young people I serve do not always receive the witness of fervent or healthy families. Parents sometimes value their child’s résumé over their religious formation. Many things, like sports, compete with time for God on the weekend. The result is an attitude that religious formation is more of a burden than a blessing. I often assume that those who come to be catechized do not... Read more
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