Articles Under: Youth Ministry

The Treasure We Give With the smell of Domino’s pepperoni pizza in the air and the sound of girly giggles that had not quite settled down, a group of 50 or so high school students crowded in small groups on the carpet floor of the parish center on a Sunday night, ready for another catechetical lesson in the St. Gertrude youth ministry program. As a Freshman in high school, I would carpool with friends 40 minutes across town just to be a part of this group. It wasn’t my home parish, but the faith was alive and well at St... Read more
A friend shared this meme with me a few months ago, and it resonated. Before I became a mom, I had lofty ideas about how much screen time and fresh fruit children should consume. My parent-self, on the other hand, decided screen time doesn’t count if it’s Veggie Tales or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ; and if this pouch of applesauce says it’s 100% real fruit, then who am I to judge? Nowhere, however, was my hypothetical parenting more exercised than during my interactions with the parents of my students in sacramental preparation and youth ministry. My twenty-something single-self couldn’t understand... Read more
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En el número anterior de The Catechetical Review , [1] miramos la luz que da la Sagrada Escritura sobre el movimiento transgénero moderno, en particular los relatos de la Creación y de la Ley de Moisés. Ahora queremos ver específicamente algunos textos relevantes de los Evangelios y del Nuevo Testamento en general. Las enseñanzas más claras de Jesús en cuanto a los asuntos sexuales se dan cuando los fariseos lo presionan sobre el divorcio en Mateo 19,3-6 : Y los fariseos lo pusieron a prueba, “¿Es lícito al hombre divorciarse de su mujer por cualquier motivo? El respondió: ¿No han... Read more
In the previous issue of The Catechetical Review , [1] we took a look at the light Scripture sheds on the modern transgender movement, especially the creation narratives and law of Moses. Now we wish to look specifically at relevant texts from the Gospels and New Testament generally. Jesus’ clearest teachings on sexual matters arise when the Pharisees press him on divorce in Matthew 19:3-6 : And Pharisees … tested him, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,... Read more
In Lumen Gentium , the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, we are taught that “all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (40). If wit and brevity are more your speed, perhaps Mother Angelica said it better: “if you’re breathing and you’ve got two legs, you’re called to holiness.” [1] This is an important thing for every catechist to remember, especially on days when students seem extra bitter, extra ornery, and extra closed-minded. God still loves each of them profoundly... Read more
En Christus vivit , el Papa Francisco escribe, “La pastoral juvenil sólo puede ser sinodal”. De hecho, este texto, escrito originalmente en lengua española pone aún más énfasis en la sinodalidad al compararlo con la versión en inglés que dice, “La pastoral juvenil tiene que ser sinodal” (206). ¿Qué quiere decir el Papa Francisco con el término “pastoral juvenil”? Y, ¿qué quiere decir con la expresión “sinodal”? La “pastoral juvenil” en Christus Vivit Para muchos entre nosotros, la “pastoral juvenil” se refiere al ministerio con adolescentes, es decir jóvenes que cursan la secundaria o la preparatoria (12-18 años de edad)... Read more
In Christus Vivit , Pope Francis writes, “Youth ministry has to be synodal” (206). The original Spanish text gives this more emphasis: “it is the only way.” What does Pope Francis mean by “youth ministry” and what does he mean by “synodal”? “Youth Ministry” in Christus Vivit For many of us, “youth ministry” refers to ministry with adolescents, either in junior high or high school (12-18 years old). The Synod for Youth, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment classifies a young person as 16-30 years old, an age group that the USCCB had previously defined as “young adult” (16-39 years old)... Read more
Do You Believe in Me or Not? When I was a student teacher of Grade 12 Philosophy Religion and Grade 11 World Religions classes, I felt inspired to have the students in both classes do an assignment that would involve them spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. The emphasis for the Philosophy class was more on whether or not they can know God exists, as we were covering St. Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs for the Existence of God at the time. For the World Religions class, the emphasis was more on communicating with God, as we were covering meditation. The... Read more
At the beginning of my second year of teaching religion in a Catholic high school, I began prompting my students in each lesson with a question that helped them apply that lesson to their own life circumstances. One day, in the middle of a lesson on original sin, I asked the students to write a letter to Jesus telling him what the “forbidden fruit” was in their lives and asking his help to resist it. Because students knew I would be collecting and reading their responses, I did not anticipate anything very serious. I was surprised, therefore, when “Monica” wrote... Read more