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.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Feast of the Angels

Happy Feastday, Gabriel Michael! That's my nephew's name. Clearly he has little choice when it comes to picking a Confirmation name.

On that note, here is some things to pass along to the kids this weekend:

"Angel" come from the same root word as "Evangelist". They come from the Greek word "Euangelion" which means good news/godspell/gospel. Angels tell the good news. Evangelist tell the good news. So to all of you too: Happy Feast Day!

Gabriel, as we should know was the angel sent to Mary to tell her that she was with child by the Holy Spirit.

Michael, our Defender is my own personal hero. Look at the muscle on that angel!

Raphael should be every single man's best friend. He helped Tobias (no, not THAT Tobias) get a wife whose previous 8 husbands had been slain by an evil spirit. Everytime you men get nervous about asking a woman out, just think "At least I'm not Tobias!". Seriously. Just ask the girl out-what could be worse? Rejection or an evil spirit killing you?

There is so much great information about these angels. They are the only ones named in the Scriptures. Click on those links to get some really great materials.

And PS for the love of God DON'T tell children that when people die they become angels! It's bad enough that we promise that everyone EVERYONE will be in heaven. Angels are angels, pure spirits. We are souls who are united with a body and when we die our souls go either through purgatory or to hell. Or for some of our lucky martyrs and saints, directly to heaven.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lesson Plans

Does anyone think this has got to be the toughest part of youth ministry? I know it was for me, and I have a theology degree!

I don't think she'll shoot me, but I'm going to share with you some of the things I'm learning in my catechetics class. It's a grad course and it's been a great class so far.

What I find is that I already know a lot of what she is teaching-that is, I have already been doing a lot of what we are being taught to do. I either under-think issues ("Oh, I already know about this because I've done it") or over think it "Hmm...I did this when, and it worked out here but not here...") and sometimes miss the theological point being made. I know it because of experience, not necessarily because I read The Mystery We Proclaim or Catchesi Tradendae.

So in the posts to come I'll cover what is in those books-though you really should read them yourselves.

What A 16-Year Old Wants

Well, you've got this or you've got this. Back to the TIME article, I have to say, I particularly liked this. She says it probaby the best:

The truth is, being 16 is more complex than most give it credit for being. It’s not all about posting "scene" pictures on MySpace, partying on the weekends, or making parents' lives a miserable hell.

It is, however, an age of uncertainty and shaky ground. It’s a time of fading naivete, car keys, and dates; it's the age where one begins to dabble in the liberating waters of adulthood before plunging into a sea of responsibility and consequence.

The TIME article has 16 articles worth reviewing-all written by kids.

See You At The Pole

Just curious.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Speaking of 9/11

This is an interesting article.

Still, some youth say their elders – especially those in the news media – place too much emphasis on Sept. 11.
Ben Losaw, 23, of Lenox Dale, Mass., is tired of hearing politicians, commentators, even terrorists tell him how he should feel about the day."I just wish they'd give up and let my generation live our own lives," he said. "The hippies really defined their life, although we have to have terrorists define ours."

Love 'em, but this is how a 23 year old thinks. Place to much emphasis? I'd have to say that some of the kids quoted in the article don't really understand the impact, no, the significance of this event. Terrorists want to kill us. They hate us. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the war, the cold hard fact is that they want us dead. And THEY will be the ones dealing with this reality.

A Little More Fun,. Please?

I really like reading the "referring URL" s from sitemeter. It gives me an idea of what folks are looking for. So, I'm going to post some of their searches, and give them to you to comment on!

1. How to teach catholic youth to read the bible
2. Music for youth mass
3. catholic youth ministry 9th grade teachings
4. catholic campus ministry
5. catholic names tages for kids to create
6. resources for catholic confirmation program
7. quotes by JPII youth
8. 8th grade ccd teacher
9. catholic heroes 20th century (oh, that's a good one!)
10. catholic "baptismal call"

Have at it!!


I know. The day is past. It was a long day for me.

In class Tuesday, Sister began by asking us how we would handle this if we were DRE's or teaching somewhere. We had a great discussion. I was a little surprised at how many said they'd go right to prayer. I can tell you-that's not what we did.

That day we were scheduled to have a dance in the evening for middle schoolers. I was working in Southie at the time-and those horrible men had boarded a plane directly across the harbor from South Boston. Logan airport is in Eastie, which is just across from Southie.

I remember the trauma of that day and how shook up I was. They had been telling everyone who worked in the city but lived out in the 'burbs to go home, just in case. I ended up calling Fr Tom at the OYM and asking his advice.

We ended up not canceling the dance, per se, but when they showed up we gathered them in a circle, lights up, no music playing, etc. They were more squirly than usual, and I wondered if they even understood what has happened that day. They wanted to start the dance, I wanted to check in and see how they were doing.

As it turns out, we did some talking, and asked them how they were handling it all. Being the age that they were the boys were all bravado. Lots of swearing and threats towards the terrorist. They were nervous and anxious and I thought it was more important that they knew that we as "the church people" were available to them for whatever they needed.

We did pray, but then we proceeded with the dance. It was shorter, which they complained about, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Sister pointed out, and I agree, that in these kinds of situations, you have to attend to their human needs first. To go immediately to prayer is to gloss over their fears and anxieties. They may not be able to "just hand it over to God". Generally, people need to talk about such tragedies, question why, maybe even question God's love and protection. Eventually, however, it's also important to return to the business of life. Talk it out, say a prayer and get on with life. To dwell on it too much or not get into the mess of it would be the two extremes. I think in these situations you have to find that balence and go with it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Catechectical Update

I added some Catechetical resources on the sidebar. You'll notice I don't have a lot of textbooks there. I think we all know why.

However, these are resources that will help you BE the catechist that you need to be. Whether or not you are in charge of Confirmation or other youth religious education, part of your work needs to be Catechetical. Did you know that the reason that the Creed is the first part of the Catechism is because everything else is based on it? Ergo, (therefore), you gotta incorporate knowing the faith into other parts of your programming.

Which should be a "duh" to those of you who realize that the 8 Components must work in tandem together for a successful formation of youth.

Note-avoid the Bill Huebsch "In Plain Englsih" series. I don't think the originals are all that difficult to comprehend, and we need to-we have to-have a working knowledge of our Faith. All the meat on the bones, as it were, not just the cut up parts.