a brainstorm accompanied a thunderstorm....
(are you ready for the idea?)
Pair up young adults (in their 20s and 30s) who belong to your parish (look through your former youth ministry rosters and see who is still living in town) with senior members of the parish who need rides to Mass.
When I lived in Florida, our parish often ran general bulletin announcements for parishioners
to call the rectory if they are willing to pick up older Church members who are unable to
drive themselves. A few members of the parish Young Adult Singles Club decided to give it a try.
For one member in particular, Susan, who was in her late 20s at the time,
she was assigned to drive a nearby parishioner, Agnes.
It only meant that Susan had to leave about ten minutes earlier for Mass,
and then a few minutes longer to drive home as she paused to drop Agnes back off.
This was a great service to Agnes, as she was able to get to Church much more often.
Agnes enjoyed getting out of the house and getting to see some of her friends at Church,
and was thrilled to be able to celebrate Mass with the community.
Susan, of course, began this is a sort of service project....
you know, helping someone who needed the help.
Susan was surprised to realize that she also go things out of this arrangement:
1. a stronger commitment to going to Mass with her responsibility to Agnes
(a.k.a. strength to resist turning off the alarm and staying in bed or opting out of a Mass
for other reasons as may have been the case on a few Sunday mornings.)
2. someone to sit with at Mass (this was key because Susan really did not like going to Church alone,
and her schedule didn't always coincide with her friends' schedules, so sometimes would sit alone
prior to driving Agnes. Sometimes though, her friends would also sit with them.)
3. a new parishioner with which to form a relationship and build community.
For many months, the commitment was just the transportation to and from Mass.
However, Agnes then invited Susan to lunch a couple of times,
and they even went to see a couple of movies as their friendship grew.
After two years, Susan's job transferred her to a different state,
so she said good-bye to Agnes, but for those two years, they both supported each other
and were parish community for each other!
So, I would like to suggest that parish staffer take some time to recruit young adults to
provide this driving service for older members who may not be able to transport themselves to Mass.
Or your parish Mission.
Or the parish picnic.
Or an adult education series.
Get the idea?
If so, and you do it, I would LOVE to hear how it goes...
I do realize it can be tricky as some young adults may have schedules that could frustrate some seniors if they are unable to help on a consistent bases.... and it may take the senior time to trust the younger driver... people would need 'screened' a bit to ensure a good experience for all... but it seems like it could be well worth it.
Especially as we seem to seek ways to help young adults (especially singles) feel connected to our faith communities, and as we know some seniors can use the help.
Let us inspire our parishioners to take a step closer to Tabitha's description from Acts 9:36
"Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas).
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving."
by at least getting them to carpool!
Youth Ministry Update
The Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry
Informing adults who minister to, by, with and for high school teens
in the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.
Cindee Case, Director
In this Edition:
> Faithful Citizenship Workshops next week
> DYC'16 Invitation period (Registration deadline October 19)
> Deadline for March for Life Youth Rally Ticket Requests
> Young Adult Activities
> 2017 events for which to plan ahead
If you did NOT receive a postcard from my office in the mail recently, then we do not have you in the diocesan database as a contact for youth ministry for your parish..... be sure to talk with your DRE or Pastor about updating the personnel report if you SHOULD be a primary contact for youth ministry there!
A copy is attached to this email FYI.
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
There are only a few days left to register online for the upcoming Faithful Citizenship sessions on Wednesday, September 21st
(pick 1 - 4 p.m. in Canfield or 6 - 9 p.m. in Canton) -
click the link below or call 330-744-8451 ext. 302.
All interested in the political process and our Catholic faith are invited.
While the events are FREE, we do request preregistration to provide adequate materials and refreshments. Thank you!
“Mercy Begins with Me” DYC’16
Invitation Period now,
Registration period early October
As you should already be aware from a previous YM E-Update, participating in the Day of Prayer and Preparation, reading the September Communique' and/or receiving a phone call from one of the planning team members:
all the Diocesan Youth Convention 2016 Registration materials have been posted online at:
September is time to invite your high school teens and adult chaperones to participate (and maybe hold a fundraiser to help offset costs?)
Then in early October, you should be collected completed registration forms and payment so that you can check them for accuracy, make copies and send the originals on to the diocese before October 19th!
The planning team had a conference call with Ben Walther from OCP Spirit and Song who is excited to kick off the day with us at St. Michael in Canton, and Bishop Murry will end the say with us during a Conversation period and Closing Mass. In between, there will be ten workshop options from which to select and dozens of inter-active stations. We will also feature Mr. Mike's pasta dinner again (gluten-free for those who need.) Participants will each receive a string backpack, water bottle and convention materials. All this for only the cost of one day and $25. (Requests for financial assistance are due to the OY&YAM by next Friday.)
THANK YOU, group leaders, for helping organize a delegation from your faith community.... it is appreciated and hopefully you will see fruits of the effort born back in your communities after the DYC experience!
If you will be going to the Paul J Kim presentations at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on October 2 and your have your registrations ready, you can turn them in at the OY&YAM info table there ;-)
The Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family did a direct mailing to all parishes earlier this month with the information and request form for those wishing to get tickets for the March For Life Youth Rally in Washington, D.C.
Note; the deadline is September 30th.
If you have misplaced the information, you can find it posted at:
National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM)
December 1 - 3, 2016
in San Jose, CA
This brief video will give you a small overview of the conference:
It is time for YOU to take time to nourish your our mind, heart and spirit as you learn new skills or ideas to bring back to your parish, Catholic school or Catholic agency.
Find out more at:
We currently have a male from our diocese seeking a roommate for the conference.... let me know if you are going!
There will also be pre-conferences,
including the National Young Adult Ministry Leadership Forum.
Activities for Young Adults
are posted on a virtual calendar.
Please help us inform Catholics in their 20s and 30s of this:
They can "subscribe" which will email weekly noticed of upcoming events like Theology on Tap, Spirits and Spirituality, Marked by Faith and area retreats and conferences.
And please email all the pertinent info for any event you have for young adults around the diocese and I would be happy to share it on the Up To Calendar!
Planning ahead in 2017:
* Youth Ministers Epiphany Party
celebration, prayer and merriment for adults serving in youth ministries (spouses also welcome)
Friday, January 6, 2017
@ Cindee's house in Canfield
RSVP for the address, and share what side dish or dessert you'd like to bring to share....and if you will bring a wrapped White Elephant for the gift exchange game!
* Course 2: Cultivating a Culture of Encounter for Adolescents through Evangelization, Catechesis, and Faith Community
This course examines how to invite young people to faith and encounter by examining the processes and methods of evangelization and catechesis, as well as, the development of community among youth, their families, and the parish faith community. Register by December 16, 2016, if possible, due to Christmas break.
2A-Fundamentals of Evangelization and Catechesis with Adolescents
Orientation week –January 2 – 8, 2017
Course work: January 9 - 30
Assignment due by February 6.
2B - Forming a Consequential Faith in Adolescents
Prerequisite: Course 2A or precious program M4 and M6.
Course work: February 6 – February 27, 2017
Assignment due by March 6
* Mass for Life
Sunday, January 22
Look for more information to come from the Office of Pro-life, Marriage and Family
* Eagle of the Cross Nomination Deadlines
Mail by Wednesday, February 15 or deliver to the OY&YAM by the 17th.
If you know an outstanding upperclassman that you would like to nominate for the annual Eagle of the Cross award, be sure to write up a form in January or early February. While only a few will be selected, all nominees receive a certificate and letter so they will know that you identified their giftedness and Christian leadership abilities!
* CMD National Workshop Series: Generation Z
Tuesday, Marcy 7
Location TBA, but mark your calendars now for a day of learning and discussion with a staffer of the Center for Ministry Development.
* NCYC Packet Pick Up
For group leaders to the National Catholic Youth Conference in
Indianapolis, November 16 - 19. Two options,
immediately following the CMD workshop on March 7
and after the Office of Religious Education In-Service Day on March 23
Additional information will then be posted to the office webpages.
Did You Know?
The monthly Diocese of Youngstown newsletter, The Communique'
is posted on the diocesan website for your convenience?
Be sure to bookmark the page so you can always find great info from
the Chancery and diocesan offices....
so many opportunities and resources!
Best wishes for a beautiful weekend
Happy Catechetical Sunday
Have you noticed that we have a big election coming up soon?
(Yes, that was sarcasm as I am not sure how any American can be unaware even if he/she avoids TV, radio, and social media.)
Hopefully, you are also aware that the Diocese of Youngstown* is sponsoring two sessions on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Perhaps you have already even registered for the free event (please do so we can have adequate materials prepared for the afternoon and evening sessions.)
As a young adult, perhaps you have not yet voted, or you never heard that the Catholic Church has suggestions on how we can try to balance our beliefs with our civic duty.
"In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue,
and participation in political life is a moral obligation,"
according to the U.S. Catholic bishops
(Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, No. 13).
First of all, please know that Faithful Citizenship is NOT a sample ballot with boxes checked off for the candidates for whom you should vote. No, these are guidelines for your consideration, deep reflection and prayer. Recall that Jesus often taught in parables which elicited the same needs for thought before a decision could be made. It is not easy.... but it is worth the effort.
If you are unable to participate in one of the September 21st sessions referenced above,
please know that there are online resources to support your journey.
A few pages to note include:
Read and reflect upon the bulletin inserts (if your parish does not use them, you can download your own!)
There are two that summarize the U.S. Bishops' document,
one instructing on how to communicate with your elected officials, and
a couple backgrounders like this one on Civil Dialogue:
You can watch a video to learn more about the Bishops' document:
(also available in Spanish, as are many of the written resources!)
Questions to discuss over coffee (or other beverage of your choice):
Ideas for parish young adult ministries and collaboratives:
Session plans for adult faith formation/small Christian communities:
You can pray for others around the country during the Novena --
listen to the podcasts or read the text:
And this is the website for even more resources to assist you form youth conscience as a faithful citizen:
May God bless your journey.
For the people of the United States,
that we may be united in building a society in which everyone can have
the opportunity to live with dignity and hope, we pray to the Lord.
*September 21st events sponsored by The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown Offices of:
Continuing Education for Priests,
Lay Ministry Formation,
Pro-Life, Marriage and Family,
& Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Hopefully, you are all aware of the two sessions being offered by the diocese* regarding "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" on September 21, 2016, and hopefully you will all do your best to participate in one of the sessions....
However, it seems unlikely that many teens will attend, especially since many cannot yet vote. However, during middle school and high school there should be discussions had and prayers prayed. Teens see and hear the mainstream media and the social media and are concerned for their futures. Why not help them learn ways to infuse their faith with their patriotism and civic duties?
The U.S. Bishop's website features session plans prepared especially for middle school and high school audiences (parish and school settings). There are 4 session plans, and they can be adapted to fit your needs. Each session covers a section of the document, so they can easily be used for inter-generational/family faith/Generations of Faith sessions as well (you can find elementary session plans posted as well!)
Be sure to check them out and bookmark the site.
Perhaps your group is interested in devotionals?
Then be sure to check out the Novena for Faithful Citizenship as well:
(Read or listen to podcasts!)
The Bulletin Inserts are also created for discussion...
if your parish distributes these, then by all means, make use of them with your teens! If your parish does not use them, you can download them. There are two that summarize the Forming Consciences document, one that instructs on communicating with elected officials, that these two that might be of even more interest:
> Conscience Formation:
> Civil Dialogue:
Have fun exploring the many resources,
and be sure to continue praying for our country
and pray for all elected officials and for all voters!
Here is part of a middle school/high school session prayer,
which seems perfect to pray together now:
Let us pray.
Father of all creation,
You made humanity in your image and likeness.
May we see Jesus' face in those who are hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, and stranger.
Spirit of justice, help us and all your people to seek respect for the dignity of all people
and work to protect the common good.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
* Sponsored by The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown Offices of:
Continuing Education for Priests,
Lay Ministry Formation,
Pro-Life, Marriage and Family,
& Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Did you happen to see the article from the Catholic News Service a few weeks back about the "Pokémon Go" phenomenon?
You can read it at:
Now that school is back in session, perhaps the traffic will slow down a bit with the Pokémon Go games that took the world by storm in July. However, there are some gamers still working towards "catching them all." So, what is your parish doing about it?
Are any PokeStops or Gyms set up on your parish property?
(You may need to talk to a youth or young adult playing and ask them to check for you.... many of the spots were assigned by the game or by players, so you may not have realized that could be why a bunch of folks are congregating in a section of your property!)
Why not take advantage of the locations by letting visitors know that they are welcome to become part of your faith community.... or that you are willing to answer any questions they may have about the Catholic faith... or that you are willing to pray for any intentions they may have...
Deacon Randy Smith in Massillon has talked with me about his planning to incorporate Pokémon Go at St. Joseph, and I've heard of a few other parishes considering it. I'd love to hear about what you do and how it went, so be sure to comment below to share your insights and ideas!
The Diocese of Green Bay's Office of the New Evangelization created a short guide to assist parishes, for what they have called Pokevangelization. I've linked it below for your convenience.
Ready.... Set.... GO!
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.