ST Gregory

October 16, 2022

Youth Ministry

Pope Francis began His 2019 Apostolic Exhortation “Christus Vivit” with the following words addressed to the youth of our universal Church:

“Christ is alive! He is in you, He is with you and He never abandons you. However far you may wander, He is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and He waits for you to return to Him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, He will always be there to restore your strength and your hope.”

In these words, we hear the God of yesterday, today, and forever speaking to the young people of our Family of Parishes. He proclaims to our youth that, though the world may dismiss them or mislead them, their lives are precious gifts to the Body of Christ. Many look to our young people to be the Church of the Future. In contrast, if we are to accept everything that Beacons of Light is preparing us for over the coming years, we must embrace them as the Church of the Now.

Over the last decade, different initiatives for the evangelization of our young people have been undertaken across the parishes that now make up our Family. These plans have taken the form of Bible studies, youth groups, Sacramental preparation, and more. One of the first needs that our parishes desired to address in the early stages of Beacons of Light was the focusing of our youth evangelization efforts across all of our parishes.

As you have likely seen in bulletins, emails, and other communication, we are gathering our efforts to reach students in grades 5 – 12 under the banner of “Eastside Catholic Youth Ministries.” Until we discern a cohesive name for our Family of Parishes, this moniker signifies that we are united in our commitment to young people. Led by Bradley Barnes, the Coordinator of Youth Ministries at Guardian Angels, this initiative pursues four goals for our students:

  1. Discipleship: Helping youth apply their Faith to the rhythm of daily life.
  2. Community: Showing students that their gifts and talents are needed in our Family.
  3. Growth: Encouraging total personal and spiritual development in our young.
  4. Family: Equipping parents to be the prime evangelizers of their children.

I ask that you remain in prayer for these efforts as we continue through the Beacons of Light process, and that you reach out to Bradley ([email protected]) for ways that you can assist through time, talent, or treasure. We will be hosting an open house for our newly re-dedicated student ministry space on Immaculate Heart of Mary’s campus next Saturday evening, October 22, following 5:00 p.m. Mass. I welcome you to join us in prayer, and to share in our vision for the youth of our Family as we move forward. In closing, I offer the words of St. Paul in his first letter to Timothy:

“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)