Release date has been placed back on schedule
Pope Francis will present his post-synodal apostolic exhortation on Sunday, March 25th,
According to a news release from the Vatican, the document
will focus on "young people, the faith and vocational discernment," drawing from the themes surfaced during the Synod in October 2018 and throughout the Synod preparation process.
Once completed, this historic document for youth and young adult ministry will be posted online at:
Currently, the Final Document from the October Gathering and the pre-synodal pieces of information can be found on that website.
Please keep the Holy Father in your prayers as he discerns
his words for the exhortation!
***Note: on 3.19.19 it had been announced that there would be a postponement, but it appears to be back on track:
Last week, I had the honor or representing our diocese at the Annual Membership Meeting of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. This is nothing new as I have done so since I became the Director of the OY&YAM, as did the previous directors. What was new and exciting this year though was having Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States (i.e. like the Vatican Ambassador.)
He kindly took time to thank all of us that work with young people in America.
He shared the excitement he had during the October Synod of Bishops on the theme of "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment" as well as the recent World Youth Day events in Panama.
He encouraged us all to reflect on the well known Emmaus story,
focusing on "recognizing, interpreting and choosing" especially as we journey with young people discerning God's call for their lives.
We must continue to bear witness to the Good News.
We must take time to listen to and really hear young people.
And to help them hear the voice of God.
And to encourage the young people to choose to engage in a personal relationship with God,
while walking with our faith community.
Archbishop Pierre promised to communicate our best wishes as youth workers on the USA back to Pope Francis, along with our prayers. May the Holy Spirit continue to bless us all as the follow up work of the Synod continues through our relationships, witness, listening and accompanying of the young people!
A big "Snow Event" is predicted for northeast Ohio and many other areas of the U.S. for this weekend. Due to this, some events are being rescheduled, changed or canceled. As I heard one teen wonder out loud, "Great, what am I going to do now?" I immediately began thinking of a myriad of options... some outdoors, some indoors.
I realized as I started listing ideas off in my head that this officially makes me an 'older' adult, but then I thought,
a. if you are a teen really looking for ideas, then here you go....
b. if you are a fellow adult who feels the same but would like to have a place to direct your kids attention without it looking like you are the cranky one listing off options, here you go:
30 Snow Ideas for Teens/Families:
1. Read a book*
2. Clean your room
3. Offer to shovel snow for neighbors (after your own driveway and sidewalk, of course)
4. Build a snowperson or two, or even snow animals
5. Make snow angels
6. Go ice-skating
7. Go sledding (and maybe take your little siblings with you)
8. Build a snow fort
9. Have a snow ball fight
10. (If permitted where you live and with supervision) have a bonfire (if you have dry wood stored somewhere)
11. Learn to make a new craft using YouTube videos
12. Cook a meal
14. Play a board game
15. Exercise or dance
16. Do your homework
17. Write thank you cards, Valentines cards, etc.
18. Create a snow day play list of music
19. Do mani-pedis, a facial or other spa treatment
20. Go on a winter hike
21. Catch snowflakes on your tongue
22. Build a house of cards
23. Watch a movie*
24. Color (yes, with crayons or pencils)
25. Pull up a karaoke app and start singing!
26. Play tic-tac-snow (draw the board in the snow, use sticks and rocks as your Xs and Os)
27. Stick the Nose on the Snowman (like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but playing a carrot on a snow man as blindfolded)
28. Make bird feeders like you used to at camp or on kindergarten (peanut butter on pinecones, sprinkled with birdseed, tie with yarn or string and hang out on a tree)
29. Look for critter-prints ( you know, pawprints from animals and identify the animals)
30. Snow-painting (fill squeeze containers or spray bottles with water and food coloring, mix, then head outside to "paint")
If you are still board after all of these ideas, then take a nap, watch TV or play video games! OR share more ideas in the comment section below! In any event, I hope you have some fun and take time to enjoy winter.
(I'll likely be sipping on some hot chocolate by the fireplace!)
* Since I am posting this during the March For Life and as we enter the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, can I suggest looking for books and movies related to Respect for All Life and equal rights?
A few that come to mind include:
~ A Raisin in the Sun
~ Mississippi Burning
~ To Kill a Mockingbird
~ The Butler
~ The Long Walk Home
~ The Rosa Parks Story
~ Hotel Rwanda
What other books and movies follow these themes?
You can also join in the final days of the 9 Days for Life
Prayer initiative at:
Most youth ministers and high school catechists discovered years ago that teens learn better by Doing and so have gotten very creative in ways to help youth apply learnings, but we often still have time for lecturing by the adult.
A few of us have moved to sending articles/chapters/booklets home to read or video links to view prior to meeting for class or session, adapting the teaching method of "flipped classroom" into religious education. (You can learn more about this below.) This is a great way to assure there is time to respond to questions and encourage discussion (so long as the students actually do the preparation and if all the youth have access to the media needed!)
I like this explanation of Jigsaw Learning as a way of perhaps using some Flipped Model, but giving another way for the youth to dive into the content. I think many of us have used this method in concept, but perhaps not with as much organization as this video describes:
This video lays out a game plan clearly. I really like the "expert group" portion where teens help each other understand the concepts (with adult advisors assisting when needed.) Then when the teens take the extra step to TEACH, we know they learn better.
Albert Einstein once said:
“I never teach my pupils,
I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Can you see how the Jigsaw can provide conditions to learn?
I can envision a few ways to use this:
a. using The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth,
dividing up sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
or selecting by topic, such as:
Parts of the Mass...
Gifts of the Holy Spirit…
Fruits of the Holy Spirit…
Types of Books in the Bible....
The 7 Sacraments...
what other topics jump out for you to consider using Jigsaw?
b. having the above or YouCats for teens to look up topics that apply to the textbook you may be using for religious class
c. if using the Phlaum Weeklies, divide up sections, making sure teens have access to the teaching guide and supplementary booklets as well as Bibles and other resources to allow them to expand the information
d. even on a retreat, set aside some time for learning sessions on the theme of the retreat.
e. prior to a service/mission activity, cover Catholic Social Teachings or elements of the service project as connected to our faith.
What other ideas come to mind?
Reflection (feel free to share your responses as a Comment below)
Thanks for all you do to pass on the faith to the next generation.
We must ensure that young people are well equipped
for their special mission in the world.
-Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry
Quick overview of a Flipped Class:
Example of watching a Flipped Classroom
“Those who know, do.
Those that understand, teach.”
Have you Had a Leadership Wellness
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.