Youth

Generation Life teens proclaim the Gospel of Life at March for Life

Teens on the Generation Life pilgrimage shared their excitement at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. About 2,100 teens and others attended the annual pilgrimage, sponsored by the Catholic Youth Apostolate.

As the crowd swelled and the chants rose, Jill Stinehart was feeling energized as the March for Life in Washington, D.C., commenced.

"I believe — we love life," chanted the teens with the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Generation Life pilgrimage filled the streets.

Never-give-up attitude prevails at Most Holy Trinity Academy

De Smet Jesuit High School sophomore Cameron Rodgers played one-on-one basketball with Most Holy Trinity eighth-grader Davion Ford. Cameron is part of the “Give Back” work- study program at Access Academies, in which graduates of the academies who are in high school or college return to provide assistance and mentoring to current students.

Cameron Rodgers is comfortable at De Smet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, where the sophomore excels in the classroom and on the football field and track.

That comfort level is matched or exceeded at Most Holy Trinity Academy in north St. Louis, where he serves as a tutor and assistant basketball coach. He's an effective leader, assisting the grade-schoolers with their studies and athletic skills.

‘Make your voice heard’ | Pope Francis says 2018 Synod of Bishops focused on youth needs young people’s input

Pope Francis waved as he arrived for a welcoming ceremony at the 2016 World Youth Day at Blonia Park in Krakow, Poland. As the Catholic Church prepares for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops focused on youth, the pope wrote a letter to young people saying the Church wants “to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith, even your doubts and your criticism.”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis asked young people to tell him, their bishops and pastors about their hopes and struggles and even their criticisms.

In preparation for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops focused on youth, the pope wrote a letter to young people, saying the Church wants "to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith, even your doubts and your criticism."

"Make your voice heard," the pope told young people. "Let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls."

Balance of solidarity, subsidiarity guide future of Catholic schools

The proposal of three school models in the Archdiocese of St. Louis signals a major shift in the way the Catholic Education Office operates and how they're looking at the future of Catholic education in St. Louis.  Students at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be an Archdiocesan School model. Makalo Spencer seemed to raise his hand for every question about subjective personal pronouns during his sixth grade language arts lesson.

Kurt Nelson sees the future of Catholic education in the archdiocese as that of balancing a set of scales. On one side you have subsidiarity — the principle of making decisions at the most local level possible. On the other, you've got solidarity — Catholics throughout the archdiocese acting together as one Body in Christ.

"We want people to do the things they need to do, to have those freedoms," the superintendent of Catholic education said. "And where they have challenges, we want the solidarity piece to show how we are working as a larger Church. It's a balancing of both of these."

SEEK 2017 inspires college students to evangelize on campuses

Young adults prayed at Mass as part of the Jan. 3-7 biennial SEEK conference in San Antonio, Texas. The event was designed to bring evangelization efforts to college campuses.

SAN ANTONIO — In need of reigniting the fire for his Catholic faith, Jeremy Martins found the flame he needed at SEEK 2017.

"SEEK is the log I was waiting for," said Martins, a junior at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. "It has been two years since a real encounter with Christ."

West County XLT latest example of collaborative spirit in youth ministry

Known as West County XLT, the collaboration of parish-based youth ministry programs rotates at different west St. Louis County parishes. Bishop Robert Hermann was the guest speaker for the group at St. Clement of Rome Dec. 14. Dominic Dolan, 16, from St. Alban Roe Parish, prayed at adoration.

The soothing sound of a guitar wafted through the church and into the vestibule at St. Clement of Rome as Breeze Bonderer and Josie Davis quietly talked.

The high school freshmen were taking a break from their end-of-semester studies to attend West County XLT at the church in Des Peres. The monthly gathering of praise and worship, adoration, confessions and a talk began in November, and rotates among seven West County parishes.

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