Inspiration for Youth Ministry

Weekly Reflections supporting youth engagement in our faith
By Cathy Walsh, Youth Ministry Coordinator

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Oct. 30, 2018

An Evening of Hope

Dinner and Dialogue with Bishop Dunn in celebration of the 2018 Synod
"Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment"

Bishopyouthdialogue

Oct. 29 was an evening of hope!

Young Adults from the Diocese met at St. Theresa Parish Center for a dinner and conversation with Bishop Dunn in celebration of the Synod in Rome.

As Bishop commented in his opening remarks, just as the Synod gathered people from around the world, so too, this dinner gathered people from across the Diocese and around the world (CBU international students were able to join us!).

We also had four vocations represented as we enjoyed conversation with young married couples, young professionals who are single, a Religious Sister, and Clergy.

So what did we talk about?
Hope, Joy, Courage, Commitment were words that were repeated during the evening.

We talked about evangelization wrapped by the fruits of the Holy Spirit...patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness.

We talked about commitment to the Catholic Faith, the sharing of prayer, the sharing of faith, the building of community. We talked about raising Catholic families, the call to holiness in a secular world, the wish to connect with other young adults who are church connected!

These young people had researched the Synod and offered reflections on what they heard. Our guests had done their homework and it was impressive!

Even social media was given its due as a positive tool to grow in faith - Dynamic Catholic, Bishop Barron, Salt and Light, Blessed is She, Catholic Moms...all good stuff.

So what is next? We will continue our connections and support Young Adults in their faith journeys. What shape this will take will be revealed as we move forward.

For now, we are very grateful for their presence and filled with hope!

 

 

 
What if we were "Church"?
"Turn off the news!"
"Not again!"
"Seriously?"

Youth and Young Adults are looking to us, and looking at us, for a response to what they are hearing.
I can do nothing or I can do something, so I choose...
 

Let me be church. Let me, in the midst of jobs and housework and parenting and volunteering and fitness classes and the mess of the institutional church, do my best to be a person of generosity.

Let me be church. Let me be compassionate to my neighbors. Let me be kind to the crossing guard. Let me be patient with other drivers. Let me be a person of patience!

Let me be church. Let me be nice in my words. Let me be open in my thinking. Let me be warm in my heart. Let me be a person of love!

Let me be church! Let me work towards forgiveness. Let me seek the good. Let me transform my own circles of influence. Let me be a person of wisdom!

Let me and YOU and all of us be church to the Youth and the Young Adults of our Diocese so that they may come to know our Lord and Savior!

 

...we want to be a “transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community” (ibid. 67), namely, a community without fear. Fears close us. Fear drives us to be proselytes.  And fraternity is something else: an open heart and fraternal embrace.
(Pope Francis during his September 25, 2018, Ecumenical Meeting with young people, in the Kaarli Lutheran Church.)

 
Youth and Young Adults are asking us how to bring meaning into their lives. We know the answer is a life of faith in God, a personal relationship with Jesus, and a heart open to the Holy Spirit.

Help young people meet other young people at the upcoming youth events. Take your confirmation class to the Youth Rallies. Encourage young adults in your families to make reservations for the "Dinner and Dialogue with Bishop Dunn".

Please pray that we can reach out to our youth and young adults and  lead them forward on a journey of faith.


 

Alpha Training: October 1
Dinner and Dialogue with Bishop: Oct 29
THRIVE - Diocesan Youth Rally: Nov 17
You can Change the World: Youth Rally at St.Ninian: November 25
Colombia Mission 2019: January 18-29
175th Anniversary Celebrations: March Break Youth trip
Email us atyouthministry@dioceseofantigonish.ca
 

June 28, 2018

HappyCanadaDay

As Canadian Catholics....
We will soon be celebrating Canada Day and giving thanks for our beautiful country, our multi-cultural nation, our two official national languages, and our willingness to welcome all those who chose Canada for their home.
 
As Canadians, we are known as people who are "nice" and are often teased for saying "thank you" and "sorry".  

Being nice is being loving!

Thank you is the most humblest of expressions. It recognizes the need for someone else's help.

Sorry is an ask for forgiveness. Again a humbling position for all of us - to recognize that we need to admit our sidesteps and ask someone else to forgive us.

What has all this to do with youth and accompanying youth on their faith journey?

Youth know love when love is modeled. Even at the level of being nice, they recognize it.

They recognize humility when they see someone shift from a power position.

They understand hurt and know forgiveness is the only way to heal.

These three things, love, humility, forgiveness is what Jesus taught us....how Jesus modeled life could be ....how Jesus encourages us to live our lives.

This is part of "Accompanying Youth"...a new (and not so new) approach to Youth Ministry practice. We need to model our faith by being nice, being humble, seeking forgiveness, forgiving others, loving the stranger.

May God bless us with love, humility and forgiveness to accompany our Youth on their faith journey!

Happy Canada Day!

 

 

June 22, 2018

Graduation Prayer
 
 gradandsky
 
As we watch our loved ones gather to celebrate this graduation milestone,
we give thanks to our God for so many blessings.

We thank you, loving Creator, for the blessing of children and our vocation as parents entrusted with the loving responsibility to love others as God loves us...without conditions, regardless of missteps, in times of excitement and happiness, in times of challenge and questions.

We thank you, loving Savior, for showing the path of love to our kids. May they open their hearts and minds to the wonder of your everlasting love and come to know their faith as a LOVE STORY.

We thank you, Holy Spirit, for travelling with our kids during exam season! For guiding their decisions during the excitement of graduation celebrations. For always whispering in their ear, to make the next RIGHT decision.

Blessed Mother Mary, continue to intercede for our children as they navigate life's choices. Bring them to Jesus that they might know how to live the Beatitudes and bring peace, justice and love to our world.

We give thanks through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
AMEN.

Sending you lots of love! Happy Graduation!
 

 

June 6, 2018

 
 

Accompanying Youth 
What does that mean?

Youth Ministers from across Canada gathered to hear how we are called by the Spirit to accompany youth.

What does this mean? 

What does this mean for our Diocese of Antigonish?


We will be spending time in prayer and conversation seeking where this new approach to Youth Ministry best fits in our Diocese.

The New Youth Leadership Team will be very valuable in discerning how we move forward.

Please consider nominating someone to this team!

Please consider how you can join in the conversation!

Text me or email me or call me!

More details to come!

Please continue to pray for parishioners to consider doing any of the following for Youth in your Parishes:
Sharing the Gospel and have youth return to mass
Entertaining the youth and build community
Evangelizing the youth one by one
Journeying with families - our Domestic Church
Funding youth activities so there are no barriers to join
Teaching the youth to pray
Giving workshops on living the Gospel in today's world
Connecting through social media
Offering Eucharistic Adoration with Praise and Worship music
Going to Steubenville
Bringing kids to Diocesan Youth Rallies
Encouraging faith development through environmental action
Having service learning trips
Bringing youth to World Youth Days
Creating a Parish Youth Group

 

 

 

May 31, 2018

 

What's my Lane?

Things tend to run well when you are in your lane!
When the path is clear, when your gifts are freely given, when you are feeling alive...then you are in your lane!


What lane am I in?

When I started in Youth Ministry, my lane was to help coordinate.

So I tried this and tried that!
Some ideas worked; some didn't!

For example, no one wanted to come to Camp Geddes for the
High School Retreat...I thought that was going to be a great time! 

I remember how grateful I was after the Fall Youth Rally at St. Ninian's.
I remember how fulfilled I felt after the Advent Gathering "The Voice" at St. Joseph, Port Hawkesbury.
I remember how scared I was with the ambitious plan for the Amazing Race.


When you are in your lane, the lane God wants for you, it shows!
People want to partner with you, they know how to support you and guide you, they understand the path, the road is clear!
We believe, with God's grace and hard work, things can happen for Youth.

Let's find the lane for Youth Ministry!

Do you think the lane is any of the following:
Sharing the Gospel and have youth return to mass
Entertaining the youth and build community
Evangelizing the youth one by one
Journeying with families - our Domestic Church
Funding youth activities so there are no barriers to join
Teaching the youth to pray
Giving workshops on living the Gospel in today's world
Connecting through social media
Offering Eucharistic Adoration with Praise and Worship music
Going to Steubenville
Bringing kids to Diocesan Youth Rallies
Encouraging faith development through environmental action
Having service learning trips
Bringing youth to World Youth Days
Creating a Parish Youth Group

(Did you really read all these options? Did any speak to you?)

So, what's my Lane?

How is the Holy Spirit calling me to care for our Youth?

  • NEW Youth Leadership Panel
  • Parish Youth Ministry
  • Diocesan Youth Ministry Advisory Committee
You can also:
  • Start a Parish Youth Group
  • Offer a Family in Faith program in your parish
  • Lead  Dynamic Catholic Bible Study on Gospel of St. John
  • Encourage some youth to attend Steubenville - maybe drive them?
  • Offer to help with a youth rally
  • Be a parish contact for 'All things Youth"

YOUTH can lead Youth Ministry.

Would you like to nominate a YOUTH or YOUNG ADULT
for a NEW leadership panel...
a panel that can be a sounding board for our ideas and programs!

We need the voice of today's generation!
Who can you nominate?

Nominations can be sent to Cathy Walsh 
 

 

 

 

May 24, 2018

 

What's my generation?

"Gram, are you a baby boomer?"

This question was raised in our home to my Mother who is of good age and very sound mind. We hooted with laughter!

My Mother is not a "baby boomer"...I am...but I did not readily share that little piece of news with our son.

Obviously, most mothers of his classmates are Generation X or "Xennials" or even Millennials!
 Their grandparents are baby boomers!

Guess I better confess that I am happy to be a baby boomer with the grandparents!
 

Why does generation matter?

We need to connect with YOUTH and voice, tone, vocabulary matter.

References to Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, and Ed Sullivan don't connect!
Motown, Carly Simon, and Simon & Garfunkel are lost to them!
Elton John is the "old" guy who was at the Royal Wedding...not the chart topping artist of our day!

We need to connect through younger Youth Leaders! 

Ethan, Liz, Lyneah were wonderful facilitators at this year's  Diocesan Rallies.
We were so blessed to have them with us!
 
They had the type of voice, tone, and vocabulary that helped youth connect.

They could journey with our YOUTH.


YOUTH can lead Youth Ministry.

Would you like to nominate a YOUTH or YOUNG ADULT
for a NEW leadership panel...
a panel that can be a sounding board for our ideas and programs!

We need the voice of today's generation!
Who can you nominate?

Nominations can be sent to cathywalsh25@gmail.com
 

 

May 17, 2018 

"Love is in the Air"
Oh, the excitement of the Royal Wedding! The world is ready to celebrate love in the faces of the royal couple, the royal family, and all the people gathered and watching from across the globe.

In our own communities we are celebrating love in the faces of our family and friends at University Graduations, Confirmation and First Communion celebrations ... all beautiful gatherings of love and all happening during this time of year.

What is our Love Story?

What is my Faith Love Story?

My Mother reminds me of the time when the parish had birthday cake for the wee ones on Pentecost Sunday. Yes, it was a symbol of the birth of the church but to a child it was time for a party, time for gifts, time to be loved and to love.

I forget sometimes that our faith is the most beautiful love story. It gives meaning and depth and purpose to our lives. It strengthens me when I am sad and troubled. It reminds me to
stay in the light. It makes me want to share this love story in my actions and behaviours. Personally, I find words of love totally clumsy as they are never adequate... so I try to be nice and kind and hope that works!

So let's celebrate LOVE today and all days.

Let's enjoy the celebration of Pentecost, let's enjoy the Royal Wedding, let's take time to grow in love for our God, our neighbor, our families, friends, and all those we meet in our days!

Sending you lots of love! Happy Pentecost!
 

 

 

May 9, 2018

Friendships and Youth!

FriendshipQuotePhoto

I love this picture of the two youth enjoying time with nature. What are they thinking? Are they aware of the Divine? Can they see God in the beauty of creation? Are they members of a 4H group, Ecology group, students on a field trip, or two friends just having fun?

What if they were discussing ideas on Climate Change that they learned at a Diocesan Youth Rally whose theme was Laudato Si - On Care for Our Common Home. The encyclical's core message: "Another World is Possible." That would be a really neat outcome to a Youth Rally!

Last month, our Diocesan Spring Youth Rally at Our Lady of Fatima provided an opportunity for Youth to share their faith, make new friends and have fun.

Last fall, our Youth learned about a life of service at the Diocesan Fall Youth Rally "Call to Serve" at St. Ninian's. In fact, the guest speaker, Jenn Power, was awarded the "Mayann Francis Faith in Action Award" at the Atlantic School of Theology Gala Dinner last Friday evening. For a life of service, Jenn and her husband, Silas, were recognized for their response to God's call in living their lives with the L'Arche communities. And to think that our Youth heard Jenn's story last fall at a Youth Rally. How connecting!

This month at StFX, youth are attending two wonderful conferences. One is offered by "4H" and the other by "NSSSA - Nova Scotia Secondary School Association". Both conferences offer leadership development opportunities, communication skills, guest speakers, and lots of fun.

There are lots of opportunites for Youth to gather. Steubenville Atlantic is happening in July. Another opportunity for faith and friendships.

Youth want to attend conferences because they are encouraged by parents, siblings, buddies and teachers. There is lots of encouragement to attend. Our own Diocesan Youth Rallies also take encouragement by parents, siblings, buddies to attend. The school system does not allow us to advertise but there are teachers who are parents who support our Diocesan Youth Rallies.

My wish for youth is that they see the same kids at the Diocesan Youth Rallies as they see at the 4H Conference and the NSSSA Conference and Steubenville. Friendships happen everywhere and God's love can be seen through nice friends, beautiful nature, and inspiring leaders.

May God bless all our youth!

 

 

DioceseyouthlogoInterested in helping organize or participate in youth events?
Do you have a great idea that you want to develop?
Looking to connect with someone with experience in your dream career or interest?
Email us!

 

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