Articles Under: Youth Ministry

This is a paid advertisement in the October-December 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
I never thought that I was going to work with middle school students. All throughout college, I fully expected that I would spend my years in ministry with ninth through twelfth graders. But the Lord had other plans, and post-college I found myself tasked with building a new middle school youth ministry program. I was young, I was inexperienced, and I had no idea what I was doing. So, I did what any typical type-A, nerdy, recent college graduate would do in the midst of feeling overwhelmed; I reread my notes, where I found this: “Step One: build a team... Read more
Maybe it’s too much of a stretch to say that an unmarried tailor who lived with his mother is the reason communism fell in the west. Then again, maybe it’s not. Venerable Jan Tyranowski was, in many respects, an ordinary working class bachelor. But when he was 35, a homily changed his life. “It is not difficult to become a saint,” the priest said, and Tyranowski believed him. He began reading the Carmelite mystics and praying up to four hours a day. When many of Poland’s priests were sent to death camps in 1940, one of those left behind asked... Read more
I have a pretty realistic looking human skull on my desk, positioned to face my high school students. It’s constantly “looking” at them. I acquired the skull years ago from an old classroom closet and placed it on my desk. Students immediately started to notice the skull and asked, “Mr. Bitting, why do you have a skull on your desk?” I responded with Sirach 7:36, “In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.” I also tell them about the Latin phrase memento mori (remember your death) and show them images of saints depicted with skulls... Read more
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