Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Good Catechetical Resources

The last post got me thinking about this next question.

We confirm in 10th grade, and now we have an expanding 11th and 12th grade Bible Study. We need to break up the class because it is loosing it's intimate charm, so we have decided to do a Faith Study. Many of the kids are interested in this because so many of their friends are not Catholic.

The trouble is that I find many of the catechetical resources either to bookish and not user friendly (esp to a teen) but excellent in content, or user friendly and quite teen friendly, but maybe a little light in it's content.

Besides the LifeTeen Confirmation program (which is both user friendly and excellent in content) does anyone else have any good ideas for resources for 6th-12th grade?

Separated Brethren

Well, the sledding was a bust-it's all mud out there. :-( I was so looking forward to seeing the kids!!

I was also looking forward to hanging out with some of the other youth ministers in the area. As I mentioned in the post below I am in Protestant Land. This is odd for me only a little-I grew up going to a Christian school, so I was a minority and asked lots of questions. But recently I spent time in the Irish Catholic ghetto of South Boston where a Protestant is as likely to show up as an African American.

I often wonder-what is the best way to evangelize or speak about our Faith to our separated brothers and sisters? Is it wise in a land where we are the minority? Do they actually believe that they have the fullness of the Faith? I know some of them are still skeptical of Catholics and thier (our) claim that we are indeed Christian, but in this case do actions really speak louder than words?

The benefit, I've noticed is that many of our Catholic kids have deep questions-they really want to know that answers-why are we different from friends? Don't we all believe the same basic stuff?

Any thoughts in regards to our beloved yet separated brothers and sisters in Christ?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Sledding With The Kids!

Pray for snow!!
Myself and the other area churches (all Protestant, which is the land in which I live) planned a day of fun together tomorrow. Let there be SNOW!!!!!! And lots of it!!!

A Whapping Good Time

The crew over at "The Shrine of the Holy Whapping" have their picks of , ah, good TV. If only...if only!!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas

No, no more whining, no more complaining.

Jesus is coming. Let the earth rejoice!
O come let us adore him!! Christ-Christ! The Lord!

My little pithy problems, and really, that is what they are, so small, are nothing compared to true human suffering. When I read about the Sudan or babies being malnourished in India or left behind in China, when I hear about fires burning down a home nearby or families with men and women in the military-especially those involved in the recent bomber attack-I have to really look at myself. I'm not so bad off.

Are there things I want? Yep. And I tell God these dreams and wishes every single day.

But ultimately, the best gift is Him. Is his Grace. Is his Love.

I love thee Lord Jesus

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

If It's Not One Thing

It's the comment boxes this time. Goes to show you that someone like me should never tamper with things I don't know about. Like the time I was trying to replace the insides of a ceiling light bulb -socket-with a metal screwdriver- without turning the electricity off. Or telling my 4 year old niece that she really could climb across the horizontal monkey bars. Or trusting the bus driver who was supposed to take myself and the kids to the airport at 4:30am the morning of our trip to Jamaica for Workcamp.

So if you know how I can fix it, let me know. The comment boxes, not my idiocy, thank you.

Monday, December 20, 2004

By Golly! I Think She Done It!

Pardon my ranting. I think I've got the system figured out.
If you have any other great links email them to me. I'll check them out and consider putting them up. For a price, of course...:-)

For The LOVE of St Christopher!

Why is this so unuser friendly?? Who think that bloggers want to spend their time trying to understand html so that they can put up links on the side??? Can anyone help me with this?



The challenge in starting a new blog is that I'm full of things I'd like to see talked about-but would like a broader audience to address the several issues that cross our paths in ministry.

However, I'm going to jump in and begin a convrsation on a generation definition called "The Millennials" -that is, kids born between 1984 and 2002. George Barna from the Barna Group calls them Mosaics there is a wide variety that describes them, but also some characteristics that define them as a whole.

(Again, I admit I'm not sure I want to post this yet, but due to recent developments here at the home front, I thought I'd try to put some thoughts out there)

One of the people I work with is the Dir of Faith Formation. While he does oversee all of the RelEd program (pre-school-12th grade) I discovered something that I almost choked on.

It seems he wants all of the catechsits to wear nametags. Some of the teachers are not getting respect and so he decided that they should all wear nametags.

I think it is a horrendous idea.

It has been my experience that, with this generation, respect is never demanded, it is earned. If I enter their world, they will more willingly listen to me and consider entering mine. A name tag says "I'm in charge, obey me" . A catechist who can reach beyond themselves and into the mind and life of a teen says "I am attempting to understand you because I love and care about you. How 'bout we see where this journey takes us, 'cause I'm all about getting to heaven and getting you there as well".

When I was teaching, I'm sure there were some catechists who couldn't believe how relaxed I was. However, I was not as relaxed as they assume. I merely told the kids that in this room, they respect themselves, other and whoever is talking. I had great patience, but also very high standards when it came to behavior. And more often than not, they began calling each other on to higher standards. They knew what was expected of them and rose to the challenge because they DID respect themselves, others and myself-but because I chose to FIRST respect them.

That is, how is it that adults first disrespect kids by not entering their world to understand them, then punish them for being disrespectful?

What do you think? Are we, as adults, able to demand resepct? or is it more wise to earn respect? Is that the role of a catechist to a teenager? What part-if any-does the teen have?

PS I'm considering lobbying to have RelEd be under my direction-but that's another post!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

To Require Or Not Require

This year I reformulated our Confirmation program. The Diocese that I'm in does not have a set age and so many parishes do it whenever it works for them. This parish opted for 10th grade years ago, and when I got here, all that they had to do was go to 5 classes, 1 retreat and show up for rehersal-and obviously the Mass itself.

Naturally I was appalled, so I revamped it: It is now a 2 year program beginning in 9th grade, which means they need to attend RelEd all year long, and attend a retreat and continue in 10th grade. During that year they attend RelEd-I'm using LifeTeen's Confirmation material-do service and attend a year-end retreat.

Now, the service opportunities are the same each month: On the 2nd Saturday we have one 2 hour opportunity, and on the 3rd Sat, a different 2 hour opportunity. I required them to come to two of each, two of each which means 4 total for a whole school year.

You would think I told them to scrub the parking lot with their teeth.

I have them do service with their community, with me, with the parish, with their classmates, so that they can grow and encourage each other. Still, some parents are outraged and some kids are still "too busy" to get it done. I'm sticking to this plan, but what do you do?

Do you require them to do certain things in the hope that they learn to want to do it? Do you let them do their own thing in hopes that they find something they enjoy doing?

What do you do for your Confirmation program?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The NETters are here...

I love it when the NET Team comes.
I have two girls staying with me, Sami and Kat. Love them both, love the team. Team 6 is a fantastic team.

They came on Sunday to do a retreat for our 9th graders and won over some of the most cynical kids in our class. GET THEM. Bring them to your diocese. Tell your Senior High and College kids to apply. They are in need of GOOD MEN AND WOMEN. GO!! CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Everyone needs someone this great in their lives! Posted by Hello

This is my niece, affectionately referred to as "Peanut" or "the Peanut". She is the joy of my life. She is like me: stubborn, willfull, strong-minded, love to laugh and go crazy. We get a long great!

To know me is to hear stories about her. Like the one where she tells me her teachers at pre-school are "MissSue" and MithRuth". Or the time she picked up a rock and said "I'm taking this home to Mama". Or reading "Areil" for the millionth time. Or when she insists on putting in the U2 DVD and dancing and singing like Bono (right on girl!). Speaking of which, she knew the words to most of the songs on the new album before I even got it. She's 4. How does she do that?

This picture was taken last Thanksgiving. I had a digital camera that had an screen would swing around so that you could look at yourself as if in a mirror. So she thought it was great fun to take several pictures this way. This is one of many. And by many, I mean she was enamoured for an hour.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

What to do, what to do

That's what one of my former partners in ministry used to call them. Poison.
At the same time, he also tried to keep them on board to use what was best in them.

At what point do you let volunteers go? What do you do when they have a tendancy to gossip about you to other church members?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Ok, I forgot to add, that the name is kinda goofy, i mean really. How dull can that name be?

Well, it's dull because I googled "Catholic Youth Minister Blog" several times and got nowhere, so I am trying to make this blog less challenging to find. If there IS another blog like this out there I couldn't find it. Hopefully others won't go through the headache i did to try and find a place like this.

Again, I'm still here alone, so I might be the only one needing this space. That's alright, though.

And yes, I know the names are backwards. Welcome to the not-so-literate-at-computers-girl. I'm good with a cup of coffee and friendly conversation, not so with machinary.

Happy Feast of The Immaculate Conception. That was when Jesus was conceived, right???



A blog for Catholics who are in youth ministry! or youth formation. or have an apostalate for youth. And who unequivically love the Church and her teachings. Yes, I did say Her. As in God our Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, and the Church, the Bride.

Then again, I'm the only one here, so....dumdumdumdumdum.

In case you read this, I'm in youth ministry and cannot find a good place to discuss some of the unique challenges that come up in ministry. I get the Youth Specialties update all the time, and they have blog and articles and such-but many of their issues don't pertain to Catholic youth ministry. I mean, we are fine with using images but lately: Reformed Protestants No Longer See Images as Idolatrous [Christianity Today]. eh, y'know. That's SO old news to us.

So, I decided to create my own blog space. I hope I get it right. I hope you share with me! I hope this helps others who are in the field who are like me: love the Church, love the youth, get crazed over parish politics, have questions about policies with youth, Church teaching, how to evangelize, do the 8 Components of Youth Ministry, where to find the good stuff...a place to let your hair down and laugh at the insanity of what we do, get prayer support, ideas, how to deal with pastor problems, parent questions, maybe even a place to hold myself and other accountable. Whatever it is, I hope you find Christ the King, present in all we do and say.