Articles Under: Youth Ministry

In the 1997 General Directory for Catechesis , “Missionary Initiation” is listed as a sixth and unique task of catechesis. The 2020 Directory for Catechesis folds this task into the fifth task of catechesis, “Introduction to Community Life,” with the logic that an integral part of being formed in Christian community is learning to contribute to the growth of the community through our baptismal vocation as missionary disciples. [1] The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls mission work “a requirement of the Church’s catholicity,” meaning that because the Church is for all humanity, we must be a welcoming people, taking... Read more
In 2020, the Shepherds of the Church gave us a treasure in the new Directory for Catechesis . Dr. Farey was a member of the working party for the bishops on the new Directory and shares additional reflections on its practical implications in this issue and the next two issues. “The new generations are not always formed and equipped culturally to face the challenges that digital society presents. . .. what is at stake is a form of digital illiteracy. Amid unending digital production today’s illiterates will be those who are unable to perceive the differences in quality and reliability... Read more
It’s no secret that over the past year the use of media has become a near necessity, causing its importance in our youth programs to skyrocket. The conversation about what it looks like to effectively use media within the realm of youth ministry is more paramount today than it has ever been in the Church’s history. There is certainly no lack of differing perspectives when it comes to the best media practices, and there’s not necessarily “one right way” to engage with the youth culture through media. But there are most definitely some dangers in regard to the use of... Read more
I’ve had the pleasure of being a certified teacher for twenty years now. I started my teaching career in a public school, and have spent the last five years teaching middle school students at a Catholic school outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Most teachers will agree that the greatest reward of teaching comes from watching students grow academically and socially. In a Catholic school we have an added bonus and responsibility, which is to help guide students as they form their spiritual life. Our youth face the difficult task of navigating a social and public landscape that is often in opposition... Read more
It is not a secret that knowledge of the faith continues to decline. It is tempting to insist simply upon teaching more doctrine, but this overlooks a more fundamental problem. What is catechesis really about? It is not simply knowledge of the faith but knowledge of the living God, a knowledge that includes and goes beyond simply the intellect, as it must include a complete transformation of life. We are not simply missing knowledge of the faith but the entire structure of life and culture that should undergird and support this knowledge. The Cultural Foundation for Catechesis Grace builds upon... Read more
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The 1997 General Directory of Catechesis contained a statement about catechizing youth that I found to be both profound and prophetic: It must be emphasized, however, that frequently contemporary evangelization of young people must adopt a missionary dimension rather than a strictly catechumenal dimension. Indeed, the situation often demands that the apostolate amongst young people be an animation of a missionary or humanitarian nature , as a necessary first step to bringing to maturity the dispositions favorable to the strictly catechetical moment . [1] As a formator for people who minister to young people, I had often quoted the above... Read more
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For many young people, the “domestic church” is like Plato’s world of ideas: a great concept that doesn’t necessarily have a corresponding reality. Marriage and family life have an innate beauty that young people are naturally drawn to because of the heroic love, sacrifice, virtue, and holiness involved in them. But why does the ideal seem so hard to transfer into reality? How do we teach the domestic church to young people in a culture that seems antagonistic to marriage and family life? Authenticity Young people crave authenticity. When we teach the hard truths, the high ideals, the demanding precepts,... Read more
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