Youth

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.

COMING OF AGE | Technology and social media empower youth

Social media platforms encourage young people to create and share content with their peers around the globe, which has amplified their voices and their potential to make a difference.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, information and communication technology has played a central role in young people's rise to prominence on a global scale.

"It has helped them to mobilize behind a common cause and to collaborate, and it has given them a voice where before they had none," the agency stated in the report from 2013.

The rewards of mentoring

Bishop DuBourg High School students Fabian Sanchez, left, and Zion Reece, right, moved their team robot for a match at the FIRST Robotics Competition St. Louis Regional. DuBourg robotics club member Jacob Lucas is at the back, left.

Team mentor Marybeth Krull couldn't contain her enthusiasm on the floor at Chaifetz Arena after Bishop DuBourg's match in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC, for short) St. Louis Regional.

"Yeah, that's it!" she said as she high-fived Zion Reece.

"Awesome!" she congratulated Fabian Sanchez.

She repeated the exhortation to Jonathan Williams, then used it often after the trio fetched their robot from the battle arena and carted it back to Bishop DuBourg's pit area.

"This is my first time here," confided the DuBourg learning consultant, so, of course, everything was awesome.

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