Our youth are the future of the Church! We want to help them stay true to God’s call to holiness, to be the energy of their years, to continue to learn about how God loves them, to discover their vocations and occupations, to develop community among themselves and the rest of us, and participate in the life of the parish. These websites are examples of what encouraging our youth can be.
Our diocese stands ready to assist. A special part of its website is devoted just to opportunities for Youth and Young Adults. Some highlights include the National Catholic Youth Conference. Foundations” leadership experience is for high school students. A time away to connect with Jesus is available yearly at “The Source & Summit” retreat. A special award to HS Seniors is available yearly. By participating in the life of the parish in the following ways, HS Seniors will be eligible for the Hands of Christ award.
Continued religious education, and participation in all aspects of parish life can include:
Liturgically, as a lector, altar server, usher, music minister, Eucharistic minister (at Mass or to the in-firmed), leader or assistant with children’s Liturgy of the Word. Within Faith Formation, their continued enrollment gives opportunity for continued learning and conscience formation. They can also assist with Faith Formation, or at St. Mike’s School, as well as receptions/coffee hours and any other fundraising effort. They are encouraged to Come Pray with Mary (4-5 PM Mondays at St. Mike’s chapel).
Physical assistance includes helping with any of the events sponsored by our Social Ministry Committee, clean-up efforts of church buildings/cemeteries, flower bed care (at any of the worship sites), assisting handicapped seniors to get to their houses of worship (St. Mike’s), assistance with the food distribution at St. Pat’s, or making pillow case dresses at Cobblestone Springs Retreat Center, or as a quilter (1st and 3rd Mondays of each month in St. Mike’s Hall from 10 AM – 2PM), or the Prayer Shawl ministry at St. Jan’s.
Participation in the Knights of Columbus or Catholic Daughters of the Americas, or as a worship site representative to the other committees of the parish: Parish Council, Finance, Liturgy, Evangelization, Stewardship, Social Ministry, Cemetery and Buildings and Grounds.
Letting Christ shine through their lives in school-related events and additional community events like the Cookie Walk (or other activities for Keuka Comfort Care Home), Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Volunteers, Yates County Christmas program, Celebrate Service/Celebrate Yates, and community suppers/breakfasts are encouraged. The value of Boy/Girl Scouts or 4H is recognized.
The local Knights Council also sponsors a cash award to graduates of Penn Yan Academy who meets many of the same criteria as the diocesan award.
Serving the needs of our youth depends in part on the willingness of parents to make continued religious education and participation in all aspects of parish life a priority. Middle and high school students benefit from gathering in groups. Adults are needed to make this happen. Contact Patty Larzelere.
Working together we can help our children and youth to live lives on fire for Christ!