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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'll Still Be Here

Just thought I'd say I'm gonna stay online. I think that there is a market for Catholic Youth Ministers to connect with each other on a national level. One of my dreams has been to start a Catholic Youth Journal-kind of a cross between the Youth Worker Journal from Youth Specialties and Envoy Magazine. Wouldn't that be a hoot?? If only I knew a thing or two about producing a magazine...

My other dream is to open up those empty convents and form a household type living situation for single people who want support (and maybe cheaper rent) as they serve the Church. Kind of a JVC, but not necessarily only for volunteers, and definately have excellent Catholic formation, for goodness sake. What is up with their lack of it? Maybe it's that whole "Jesuit Thing" ...


"Contract Not Going To Be Renewed"

I didn't really have a contract in the first place, but ok...whatever.

The big news is-I'm now job hunting. I was careful to say this because I wanted to tell everyone who needed to know first. But I find myself needing to share and get support.

Thankfully, I have excellent folk who are simply fabulous and call me, are outraged for me, appreciate me, challenge me, and have offered to help me write my resume'.

Or re-write it.

I have to be honest, folks: I'm not sure I want to go back into parish ministry.

I know that I'll stay involved in Church work in some capacity, and most likely with youth. I have a few friends who seem to have it down: Work corporate, then come and go in parish ministry as much or as little as they want and get to do the good stuff: Relationships with the kids, teach Relgious Ed, do trips-and leave when it starts getting ugly.

This is a tough conclusion to come to because I've always believed I'd be 100% Youth Ministry-my job, my ministry, my apostolate. I wondered at times if I hadn't edged out the married life because of my dedication and work. Then again, I very often pray "Lord, save me from myself" and this just might be his way of saving me from myself.

I find it odd that I'm excited about leaving parish ministry. I have a lot of bad things to say against it. But maybe that is why I need a break from it.

I'm mad at the reason for the "letting go". I think it's a farce. But I don't sign the checks. I might get into that more later.

For now, pray for me to hear where God is leading me. I'm open, Lord. Open and ready.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Just Pray

Major turn of events for this youth ministers. Please pray for wisdom and guidance. I'll tell you more when I can.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Who Is The Savior??

I'm tired. I need a vacation.

I'm quite positive the boss will sign off as I've not taken any vacation time yet this year. But the problem is, I need a vacation from myself.

I've discovered that I often feel like I need to save the world, esp the Catholic world from itself. I know, I know, what hubris. My brain is generally in overdrive when it comes to Church issues, evaluating, contemplating, reading up on, stressing over...notice nowhere there does it say praying over and letting go of.

I think that is a danger when you work for the Church, and maybe even more so for those of us committed to orthodoxy and the beauty of the fullness of the Faith. While those are objectively wonderful, who says I have to save everyone from their sins? Good lord, who is the biggest sinner here? Talk about eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


I need a vacation.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I Know, I Know

I said I wasn't gonna post much, but check this book out. Ryan calls it "The case study for Colleen Carrol Campbell's book The New Faithful. "

PS Does anyone think about the next generation? I mean, the one we are (supposedly) influencing? Will they love the faith like we do?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Public School? Catholic School? Christian School? Charter/Private School?

I was actually thinking about this because of a discussion I was having with my hair dresser yesterday (yes, my cut and color looks fabulouso!) . She is pregnant with her first child and her and her husband's biggest arguement is do they sent their kids to public school or the Christian school? (They are Protestants). She went to the local Christian school and had excellent formation because all of her friends and their families were raising their kids basically the same way-according to Scripture and having a relationship with Jesus Christ ("being saved" as it were). Her husband went to the public schools and said that it was an opportunity for him to be a light in the darkeness, to witness to others about his faith, supported by other Christians who went to the public school.

Over at Dom's site we got a bit off track on the original topic. Someone wondered if we are still bound to sent our kids to the Catholic schools. I had never heard of this, but someone mentioned sending kids to the Christian schools.

One woman stated: "A conservative Christian school would teach children to be conservative Christians, but they would all be Baptists or other denominations, not Catholic". I disagreed because I went to a Christian school because the local Catholic school was a bastion for dissent and the joke was that you couldn't tell a Catholic school kid from a public school kid-the behavior was just about the same.

In fact, going to the mostly Protestant Christian school probably helped me stay Catholic because of all the questions I got.

I don't know what I'll do with my kids. Maybe just wait and see what is best for each kid?

Monday, May 16, 2005


Check out some of these thoughts. Discuss.

What do you think about the up and coming generation?

A message from Down Under-but are we practicing it "up in here"

D'oh! Marge, do I uh have a brain anymore? uuuughhhh.... as well as this gem.

There, that outta keep you busy for awhile.

Confirmed: Massive Amounts Yet To Be Done

There won't be a lot of blogging from me this week-the Confirmation Mass is this weekend and I have massive amounts of work to be done. Thankfully I have a good crew to work with, but there is still a great deal of details to cover.

One of which are students who have still not done their work. *sigh*. Pray for them. I wish most of all and pray more so that eventually they will have hearts for God, praising and serving him, instead of duties to be done. I pray for their families and concerns as well.

Another thing yet to be done is buy a gift for the girl I'm sponsoring. Why do kids who I barely know as me to be their sponsor? I don't get it. I'm not knockin' this girl at all, I just wonder why would they ask me when I don't think we really know each other? And for the past two years it's been fairly quiet girls...then I realize that I haven't been doing what I'm asking the other sponsors to do. Maybe next year I won't say yes. It's hard to keep up with...we'll see.

So at any rate, it will be a slow week for this posting, but not for this Youth Minister!! Pray for us! Come, Holy Spirit!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blog Blah

Sometimes I wish I hadn't started with this blog publisher...*sigh* Sorry it's so dull around here. Seems one has to know html or css to make it interesting. I'm just to busy to figure it out. I am in youth ministry after all.

Right. What's css?? That's what I said.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Communication Error

Ugh. I hate it when there is a miscommunication. I thought I asked my secretary to print out a letter with the border that I don't have. She thought I was going to fix the letter and send it back to her. But she's now packed up and gone and I need to get this out today. There is so much else goin gon today as well. Looks like it will be a working evening as well. Hope there is something good on TV so that I can stuff and stare and not be stewing.

It also drives me crazy that the FF Dir gets more work from her than I do. Granted its a very busy time right now and the work that she has is very legit. But I have an unusually high amount of admin work that needs doing that I'd usually give her. When I brought this up he wondered why I didn't give her the info earlier in the spring. Because of what it was there was no way I could have, not having benn able to consult the boss who was gone. Snark.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bigger Things

Do you ever feel that you were meant for bigger things?

Don't get me wrong, I definately know that youth ministry is where I belong, but I sometimes wonder: In what capacity?

I'm going over budget information, writing up check requests, taking bottle emptys to the store for a refund, making post cards to remind kids to show up to a meeting this weekend, writing letters to ask for grants, dealing with office politics and so forth, when I run across former classmates who are doing big things.

Things like publishing book with Christopher West, or speaking around the country or being asked to sing for the Steubenville conferences-and why is it mostly men?

Just wondering if there is something other that I'll get to do someday.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Why Do Service?

I have my own philosophy about doing service work. I hate "hours". Hate it. Know why? Because it requires you to do the bare minimum. You have to "do so many hours". Seriously?

How 'bout attitude? I want the kids to have a change in attitude, or adopt an attitude.

Esp in the wealthy community that I work in. I want them to know that life ain't all about them. No, there are brothers and sisters in their community that need their help and to whom much is given, much is expected. Just because you come from a life of comfort don't sit there on your duff and think someone else should take care of the poor or the lonely. Get up and serve.

I also ask them to do it with our group for a sense of community. Some kids are terrified to do the work, some are afraid of how they'll look-some are very giving and selfless. I want them each to see one another and grow. I want the givers to reach out and be the example. I want the lazy duffs ("when is this over" ) to see their compadres serving Christ by serving others.

But that's my philosophy (thanks RKT!)

What's yours?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Well, You Can Never Really Know

In reference to my "Confirmation Woes" below, I spoke with the pastor. I had written a letter to all those still needing to complete the program letting them know that they may not receive the Sacrament until certain events happened. This is NOT to say that I believe in them earning the Sacrament or that they are not worthy-but the whole point is to get them properly disposed so that the sacrament is most effacacious-that they learn that the Faith is about learning, yes, about experiencing, (the retreat for instance) yes, but also about serving! It's not all about them!

Anyway, I handed the letter to the Boss and not only did he approve my point, but he added his name to the letter and signed it.

Then I told him that we 'd like to take a big bus to our Summer week-long program. Much less enthusiasm there. Thought it would be totally the opposite. Oh well. What d'yda do.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

BOB Fundraiser

aka Blessing Of the Bikes...our pastor is a Harley man and several others in our parish are as well, so they began a fundraiser for area charities. They invite bikers in from all over the state and they come for eats and bike parts, leather jackets and patches sewn on them. Our kids had a booth where we sold food and most of the kids were out selling bike patches and kick plates.

The day started out sorta warm, but by the end we were FREEZING! I was honored when they asked me to get up and sing the National Anthem and I couldn't for the life of me remember some of the lines, so rather than looking like that Canadian woman one of my friends ran home and printed them off the internet. Afterwards, Fr got up and said a blessing over all of the bikes.

It's such a different world than mine. I have never seen so much leather in one place. I stood out like a sore thumb in my preppy Columbia ski jacket.

All in all we made about 2Grand and had about 750 bikes. They had to pay $5 which mostly went to the charities so, except for the cold, it was a good day.