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.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The End of an Era

As we all know, the scandal which erupted in Boston 5 or 6 years ago has cost the Archdiocese dearly. Because of their ineptness at dealing with reality and the litigation of zealous lawyers they have had to downgrade significantly.

Most unfortunately, to me anyway, is the slashing of the Youth Ministry budget. The Office for Youth Ministry (OYM), Boston will be moving from a 3 story convent/retreat center with 6 or 7 offices, to two offices in the basement of the Creigh Library on the Chancery Grounds. Not exactly a move up. They have eliminated 2 full time and 3 part time positions-one of those being Fr Tom Dunne's position of Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Boston. It will now be "folded" in with the position of Director of Family and Life ministries. This leaves only two full time positions to oversee the extraordinary work of the OYM.

In my opinion this change is a great loss: Gospel Road, Catholic Leadership Institute, (and "Moving Beyond"), monthly youth ministry meetings, harbor cruises, golf tournament, World Youth Day trips, a retreat for all kids in the archdiocese called "YOW" (Youth Outreach Weekend) which had to be held on two weekends because over 500 kids would sign up...CYO of youth ministers and Coordinators of youth minstry...folks, despite the Scandal, the Office for Youth Ministry was getting the job done.

Most significantly is the loss of Fr Tom Dunne, S.D.B. (Salesian order-think Dom Bosco). He has led the OYM for several years and has been a rock and wise servant during some very turbulent times. The kids loved him because he was so accesible. He lead with quiet authority and confience in his staff and in the faithfulness of the Lord. His order has him assigned elsewhere, and whoever gets him next will be a blessed group of people. Fr Tom, thank you for all your dedication and hard work. Thank you for your leadership and guidance. Thank you for being rooted in Jesus and keeping us there as well. May God bless you and keep you.

The article on their homepage is hopeful-I'm not surprised at it's graciousness and hopefullness. But having worked extensively with them, having gotten to know each staff member well and ministering with and being minstered to by them it is a great sorrow to see such good work reduced because of the idiocy of the Scandal.

For the two remaining, may God bless you with stamina, volunteers, clarity and wisdom. Thank you, OYM for all that you have done for hundreds, even thousands of youth and their youth minsiters. I would not be the minister I am today without your support and love.


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