youth ministry

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


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.

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.

Be authentic witnesses in connecting with young people in the Church


Encountering young people in an authentic way and taking a step outside of the boat, as Peter did with Jesus, are hallmarks of a fruitful youth ministry effort.

Leaders in youth ministry shared those sentiments at the seventh annual archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly Oct. 29 at the Cardinal Rigali Center. Nearly 150 parish leaders, including laity, religious and clergy, attended the assembly, traditionally a time for parish representatives to share ideas and communicate with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson about the priorities of the local Church.

Totus Tuus youth catechesis program to introduce the riches of the faith

Evie Sue Ward had a typical faith experience as a youth. By middle school she had questions about the Church and God. She found answers at Totus Tuus, a summer catechesis program.

Led by college students and seminarians, Totus Tuus has the elements of a vacation Bible school and parish mission, with a focus on sharing the Gospel and promoting the faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and eucharistic worship.

New youth ministry program looks to ignite habit of prayer

A new program called Daybreak hopes to ignite a habit of prayer in public and private high schools by using intentional, specific prayer.

The idea for Daybreak stems from St. Anselm Parish's youth minister Joe Dobrynski's time at Benedictine College and as a FOCUS missionary, where all activities began with prayer. Daybreak has been involved in numerous schools including Parkway South and West high schools, DeSmet Jesuit High School and Christian Brothers College High School.

New youth ministry policy seeks to create safe environment for teens, youth ministers

Youth minister Pete Buncher led a youth group April 11 at Assumption Parish in Mattese.

A new archdiocesan policy geared toward parish-based youth ministers seeks to provide a safe and healthy environment that will allow teens to grow in their faith.

The policy, which debuted this month, took about three years to craft, through the collaboration of the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate's Office of Youth Ministry and the archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection. The policy complements the requirement that all adults who work with minors in the archdiocese undergo training in the Safe Environment Program.

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