Youth

Totus Tuus summer program is filled with fun, faith and friendship

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Resting comfortably in their chairs, a group of sixth-graders peppered Sam Sargent with questions about vocations:

What are the differences between the way the Church and the government recognize marriage?

Why can't girls become priests?

What's the difference between a religious sister and a nun?

Why can some married men become priests?

Sam, have you ever thought about religious life?

On being questioned about whether she's considering religious life, Sargent didn't hesitate with her students.

Sports camp: What’s fun got to do with it? (Everything)

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Jeff Gaona played basketball for De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis University and Bellarmine University. A challenge, for sure, but nothing compared with what he faced June 22 in the St. Paul Gym in Fenton.

Gaona was encircled by about 35 mostly pint-sized players at the parish's basketball camp, each determined to take the ball from him. They succeeded in the comic-relief effort twice, and as a loser, Gaona had to do 10 push-ups each time to the chants of his victors.

Conversation, listening essential for synod on youth

INDIANAPOLIS — At a time when an estimated 50 percent of Catholics 30 and younger no longer identify with their religion, the U.S. bishops June 14 discussed the need to reverse that trend and why the consultation process for the October 2018 Synod of Bishops on youth and vocations is crucial to that effort.

Listening to young people is essential to the conversation, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J.

Vatican releases online questionnaire for youth

VATICAN CITY — To involve young people in preparations for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018, the Vatican has released an online questionnaire to better understand the lives, attitudes and concerns of 16- to 29-year-olds around the world.

The questionnaire — available in English, Spanish, French and Italian — can be found on the synod's official site at www.stlouisreview.com/bJB and is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief.

Post-high school support helps graduates avoid ‘summer melt’

Wander Garner, center, said goodbye to Rosetta Bell, a Rosati-Kain High School graduate who met Garner to finalize her plans to attend St. Louis University in the fall. Garner is a high school counselor and parishioner at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church and volunteers her time with the St. Louis Graduates’ High School to College Center in University City.

Rosetta Bell already had her college plans lined up when she donned a cap and gown last month at her graduation from Rosati-Kain High School.

Rosetta plans to study chemistry at St. Louis University and hopes to be a pre-med student. She earned a scholarship from the university and has applied for federal financial assistance — including grants and loans.

Beyond the funding she already has lined up, the family still needs to fill a gap of about $10,000 to make the cost affordable, said her mother, Florence Bell.

Lwanga honoree: Youth ministry is about taking the ‘ink off paper and making it walk’

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Corliss Cox knows what it's like to do youth ministry with no money and no plan — and nothing but an intense trust in God and the ability to step out in faith.

Those were the early days of youth ministry for Cox, who was invited to work with the Ujima Youth Program, which became part of the Catholic Youth Council in the mid-1980s to address the needs of black Catholic teens. Several years prior, she had left a job in corporate America to stay home with her newborn son; by the time he turned three, she was looking to return to work.

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