Hey there! I am so excited to start building this Youth Ministry program with you. I’ve seen a lot of responses in our survey like, “what exactly is this,” and “I want to hear more about how this will actually work,” and I’d like to give a brief overview for those of you that are curious.
First off, if you’re asking these questions, that means you’re at least mildly interested, which is great! Here’s my vision for how it will work: our bread and butter will be weekly youth group meetings. This is a great way to build community and get familiar with the other people in the group. I recognize that high schoolers are REALLY busy, so there’s no commitment to come to every meeting. Drop in, drop out, come when you can, no pressure! I’d love to have you whenever you can make it.
Someone also told me to “make sure that people know this isn’t just all about church, otherwise they won’t come.” Interesting thought, but a fair point! I can promise you that we’re not going to be reading the Bible, praying, and sitting silently for the entirety of these meetings. We’ll play plenty of games and have ample time to just hang out and get to know each other. Now, there will definitely be discussions about faith and Jesus at these meetings, otherwise there’s no goal or intention behind what we’re doing, but I don’t want you to think of it like religious ed, school, or anything like that. This is your youth group, not mine, and I want it to be a place where you enjoy coming to hang out. It’s also a great, casual place to ask questions about your faith that you might not feel comfortable bringing up with your parents or a priest. That’s great! That’s why we’re here.
We’ll also get involved with service opportunities in the area. A big part of being Catholic is showing the world the love of Christ in our actions, and that’s something we’re all called to. Finally, we’ll have some (optional) retreats and trips for those who want to experience their faith in another way.
Bottom line, I want to create a space that you want to be in, a space that you’re comfortable in. I want you to have fun, learn more about your faith, and build an awesome, vibrant community while you’re at it. I can’t wait to meet you all, and I’m so excited to kick this program off!
Regis O'Neill, Youth Minister