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Mission

“This is what is needed: a Church for young people, which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort, and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist; a Church which will know how to invite and to welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit his whole existence; a Church which is not afraid to require much, after having given much; which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as that of the following of the Gospel” (John Paul II, 1995 World Day of Prayer for Vocations).

MISSION

The mission of Youth Ministry at Our Lady of St. John of the Fields Catholic Church is to support, empower, affirm and challenge the efforts of parish communities in their ministry to, with and for youth.” This ministry helps parish youth ministry coordinators organize, implement and maintain a comprehensive youth ministry, therefore; it creates an environment in which youth and adults can be involved together liturgically, sacramentally, and catechetically.

GOALS

The goals of Catholic Youth Ministry as put forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are:

  • To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in the world today.
  • To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
  • To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.

Goal 1 Youth Ministry ... it’s about discipleship

The first goal of youth ministry is “to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.” (RTV 9). Young people are “searching for a noble adventure”, a compelling and challenging vision of life, and a cause worth their commitment. They hunger to hear the Good News that finds response in discipleship. As their companions on this spiritual journey, some of the ways the Church fulfills this first goal of youth ministry is by ...

  • Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus through witness and word to young people.
  • Enabling young people to live as disciples through their involvement in service, ministry, and leadership opportunities.
  • Providing young people the faith skills for discipleship.

Goal 2 Youth Ministry ... it’s about connection

The second goal is “to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.” (RTV 11). Young people have a hunger for connection, to be in relationship, and to belong. Family, peers, school, youth serving organizations, and church are primary connections for young people. Some of the ways the church fulfills this second goal of youth ministry is by ...

  • Being a ‘youth friendly’ community that welcomes young people, values their participation, and calls forth their gifts.
  • Integrating young people into the liturgical, pastoral, and ministerial life of the parish community.
  • Creating opportunities for young people to enter into healthy relationships of trust and respect with their peers and with adults.
  • Promoting Catholic identity and religious literacy through programs of adolescent catechesis.

Goal 3 Youth Ministry ... it’s about gifts and growth

The third goal of youth ministry is “to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.” (RTV 15). Adolescence is an important time for mental, spiritual, social, and physical growth. Their experiences and relationships greatly influence their healthy and positive development. The Church strives to surround young people with the best possible external scaffolds—networks of caring relationships of family, school, peers, and other adults—while young people are developing their internal psychological and spiritual backbone—their values, life skills, commitments, and moral compass. The church fulfills this third goal of youth ministry by...

  • Enabling young people to develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
  • Actively supporting positive youth development and fostering healthy values and life skills.
  • Supporting families of young people by providing resources, programs, and services.
  • Providing opportunities to experience and express caring, service, and compassion for others.


COMPREHENSIVE YOUTH MINISTRY

Comprehensive youth ministry basically means two things:
Being concerned with ALL YOUTH in the parish, and the WHOLE PARISH is responsible for youth ministry.

ALL YOUTH. It is relatively easy to get a youth group up and running, and soon you'll have a set number of kids who come to most events. But what about those who don't? What about those whose families barely even make it to church twice a year? These youth aren't likely to show up for catechesis or a retreat. Comprehensive Youth Ministry aims to meet those needs. A young person who doesn't attend mass and is not connected to the church has different needs than the son or daughter of parents who are "pillars" of the parish. What can you do about these youth?

THE WHOLE PARISH. DON'T let youth ministry become a mini-parish! Use the programs and organizations that are already in place. Let the music director know that THEY are in youth ministry because there are kids in the choir! Talk to the altar server coordinator and see what the youth ministry team can do to support him/her. Partner with the Knights of Columbus for a program. Publish a list of all the jobs that need to be done in youth ministry for the year and get it into the hands of as many parishioners as possible. Challenge them to do their part!
ALL THE MISSIONS OF THE PARISH...are included in:

  • The Ministry of Advocacy
  • The Ministry of Catechesis
  • The Ministry of Community Life
  • The Ministry of Evangelization
  • The Ministry of Justice and Service
  • The Ministry of Leadership Development
  • The Ministry of Pastoral Care
  • The Ministry of Prayer and Worship

These are the eight components of Youth Ministry.


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