Youth need 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, to participate in the life of the parish, becoming prepared to be missionary disciples. Annually, on August 12, International Youth Day, we are to encourage youth to become involved and make a difference in the world they will inherit. Growing into happy, healthy, holy people is not an easy task in today’s secular society. At this age there is plenty of drama. “Look to Him and Be Radiant” has this to offer.
The Church wants everyone to have healthy bodies, minds and spirits. Locally, we encourage our youth to keep their bodies healthy with wholesome food, exercise and relaxation, and developing fruitful relationships. Being Church means we want everyone to stay true to God’s call to holiness. Memorization of important articles of the faith (also known as doctrinal formulas) is the first step in producing strong Christians. Living those principles is the key.
Our diocese maintains a section of its website just for youth. And when youth stray and become addicted to anything, there is help and hope. When being challenged about the existence of God, https://strangenotions.com/ offers answers.Most people like music. Here are some Christian radio stations that are particularly popular among younger people:
Ascension Presents has videos, podcasts and articles.
Some videos about the call to Holiness (The BE Attitudes) for everyone and a life before God (The Jesus Creed) for high school students and young adults. Ave Maria Press makes a series available showcasing ministries throughout the world where priests, religious, and lay people work with the poor and marginalized. Learn how to practice our faith in big and small ways every day.
We are His followers. We are to love God and love others with everything we have.
These websites are examples of what encouraging our youth can be:
Our diocese stands ready to assist. 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, 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 (St. Pat’s), or helping with any program that enhances the dignity of others.
Confirmation preparation is reserved for students in grades 8 or higher. It is a 2 year preparation period. Within OLOL we offer a Summer Intensive preparation: registered youth use a diocesan approved curriculum to learn, discuss and live the faith over 5-10 days for 5.5 hours per day. For the remainder of the year, they need to complete monthly assignments and perform service to the Church and community. This allows for reception of the Sacrament in the fall, after the 2nd year of summer intensive. It is hoped that all Confirmands will continue to learn about God through weekly Mass participation, group activities, personal prayer, Bible reading, observance of the Commandments, practice of the Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy and active participation within OLOL. We show we love God through service within the family, Church and community. Get the Confirmation registration form here or by email request or by stopping in at the parish center.
Youth Ministry Access virtual and in person lessons are available. They are considered the gold standard — fun and faith–filled. Youth participating they will be reminded of how much God loves them and has plans for them; it might save them from “a world of trouble.” Contact Patty for more info or to get involved.
Married or a Parent?
The motto of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry is Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth.” See more by clicking here. The Padgetts also have a compelling story.
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!