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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why am I Catholic?

Totally awesome. Play this at your next staff meeting or confirmation meeting or RCIA or RCIC meeting or send to all your friends, Catholic and Protestant.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

World Series Catholics

So if the Detroit Tigers had to lose to the St Louis Cardinals (sob!!), I'm at least delighted to hear about these guys:

FAITH MATTERS --- St. Louis Cardinals John Rodriguez (from left), Jeff Suppan and David Eckstein say their Catholic faith matters a great deal in their lives. CNS/MARK KEMPF, ST. LOUIS REVIEW

Monday, October 23, 2006

MAC or PC?

I've never bought my own computer before. I know! Can you believe it? Maybe those of you getting paid by a parish are saying "oh yeah, sister, I can believe it".

However, I think that there is an apostolate here, to connect Youth Ministers via the web and provide good resources. I haven't done even half of what I'd like to do here. Partly because of time-but partly because I don't have a computer at home to work on.

So, I've started the process of investigating which one will be a better fit. This is going to be insane because I generally research any equipment over $40.

Those of you here are obviously on computers, so I'll ask you:

MAC or PC?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"The Blood Of Martyrs the seed of Christianity"

This is a fabulous story.

Did you know that the North American Martyrs died in the same village that Bl. Kateri Tekawitha would later be born in-and become a Christian? (Died, heh. Wait til you read about how they died. They totally earned the title "Martyrs"!! )

Today is the feast of the North American Martyrs, but since Bl Kateri's day is in July and her story is so directly related to the Martyrs, it's a good idea to bring her up today.

More resources:
North American Martyrs: (Canadian Shrine)
Women of Faith have some info
A Whole Buncha Info

Blessed Kateri Tekawitha
Catholic Forum Info
More Info Than You Probably Need

World Missions Sunday

Is this Sunday!!

Ok, so I'm going to totally steal my profs' lesson for today. But she has such good ideas!

We talked at length about both today's feast day (see above) and World Mission Sunday.

What is good to hear is that it's always important in our lessons to take time for feast days or calls for the work of the Church. Since almsgiving and evangelization are precepts of our faith, you cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

World Mission Sunday, if you don't know, is a work of the Propagation of the Faith who asks us to set a day aside for prayer and giving aid to further the work of the Church.

What makes World Mission Sunday such an important celebration in our Church? As the title reminds us, it is a universal celebration carried out through the world in which all members in every country, diocese and parish lift up their minds and hearts in solidarity with Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are asked to consider that the Church is larger than our own locale. The problems and challenges in our own place must be situated in the context of the larger Church. It is not just a “second collection”; it is a mindset, a mission mentality, celebrated on this day.
(from the World Mission' Website)

A few facts (taken from the Mission Society in the UK)

A few points to emphasize:
1. The Church, being Universal, cares for it's own. We are a family.
2. It is part of our baptismal call, our duty to evangelize and give alms. This is not an option!
3. Alms: Not going home and asking mommy and daddy for a coupla bucks. Challenge your students to give up something for a week or a month: Those fries in the cafeteria, the mocha-chocha-latte from Starbucks, a movie, candy, CD, game. Whatever. Then collect the money saved and turn it in. To give out of your comfort means nothing. To give out of your need means everything. Even out of your want, let's be serious. We want for precious little.
4. We can give to the World Missions as well as local: either "national" local or your own city or town.

Other resources:
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Catholic Extension (Mission for America)
Columban Fathers

Maryknoll has a rather liberal-theology agenda so I'm not going to post their website here. But you're welcome to do as you please.

There are many other worthy places to give your money. However the above should suffice. Their all big, all doing excellent work

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pope John Paul II Cartoon

As I hear it, approved by the Vatican too.

Got this from a dope on youtube who I won't bother mentioning. Not sure how he got it. However I heard it on MSM today. Yeah, I know! What a way to hear about it!

Monday, October 16, 2006

How To Evangelize Youth

I had this question asked of me. Would love more input as well.

1. Pray to God for Grace every time you go out to evangelize
2. Realize that this work is not about you, it is about them. This means you cast off fear, because perfect love -or the love of God flowing from you to them-casts off fear.
3. Realize that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. Trust me.
4. Say hi to them at Church. Seriously. Even if they look surly. JUST SAY HI.
5. Say hi to them at their places of work. It can be tempting to pretend you just didn't see them, but they know. They know that adults avoid them.
6. Take a buddy and go to their school games/plays/band and choir concerts
7. Have a pizza and movie night-and don't even talk about God unless they bring it up.
8. Have game night, with the above same rule.
9. Introduce yourself to their friends. Their friends now think you are cool, which moves you into the cool realm. You are "cool" because you are confident and unfraid, not to mention friendly and approachable. You use your coolness to keep inviting them into a deeper relationship with God and his Church.
10. Don't feel cool? No worries. You need not wear the lastest fashions or know the latest dance moves. Know their music. Know their movies. Know their fears. Know their world. More importantly
11. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be available.
12. Prepare 4-6 conversation starters that cannot be answered with "Yes" or "No". For example:
a. Where do you go to school? How long have you gone there? What classes do you have? What extra-curricular activities are you involved in?
b. What did you do over break?
c. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
d. How many brothers and sisters do you have? What are their names and ages? Do they bug you sometimes? (this usually gets a story out of them, even tho it's a yes or no question).
e. What is your fav Christmas memory/summer event/birthday party/ etc

Anyone else?

Catechetical Resource

I had posted an article about this website before, but when I lost everything, I lost their info. I recently came upon it again and wanted to be sure you folks had access to it.

When I asked for resources, I was glad to see many people using solid resources. This website has oodles of good resources, although generally geared towards adults. Remember, your kids aren't adults yet and you may need to take the meat and make it a tad more "edible" as it were. Just sayin' to keep your students in mind, not askin' you to water anything down. Just use your creativity and sensibilities.

(I tried uploading a picture but I'm having issues with my picture loader)

Youth Ministers' Retreat!

You DO NOT want to miss out on this:

Franciscan University of Steubenville
January 26-28, 2007

Let's be serious: You need a retreat that isn't fluffy (think about your diocesan retreat) and is for you, rather than one you give. You don't have to prepare a THING! I know, that's what we do. But you need refreshment. You need prayer time. You need to hang out with other people of "our kind". You will get what you need.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Since I have a full time job in ministry, but not directly in youth ministry right now, I need help from you guys. I don't have a lot of time to blog what I have, but if you send me your info, I'll post it. It's totally helpful, too, if you can include a link for the resource.

What resources are you using that are good? What is great? What would you advise staying away from?

Thanks, oh wise ones.


I almost used the "O" word (Ob5cene but I didn't want googlers looking for nasty websites to come here).

We had snow flurries today in Steubenville.

"Isn't this great?" cheered our insane student workers.

No, it is not. Not at all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I forget that I need to be practical and not all theoretical.

What can you good people tell me about retreats? Do you have a great retreat that you'd like to share? What elements must you have on a retreat? What is your most creative retreat experience?

I did a retreat for inner-city kids based on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" back when it was a popular show. Each of the life-lines was a talk -Phone A Friend was a talk about prayer, Poll The Audience was peer pressure and community...I only did it once, but it was fun.

I've also done one called Luke 18. Kids go on it when they are in 6th or 7th grade. Then each consecutive year they come back with increased responsibilities until as a senior they are giving the talks and leading the small groups. It's one of my top favorite retreats because it involves kids who have gone through the conversion process in others' conversion journey. Many of the kids in the parish point to this moment on their Luke 18 retreat as their first thought about God, his love and a relationship with him.


I'm using this at my next youth ministry training. Fear me!!!
(got this from Mr Shea.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Ecclesial Method

Youth ministry is evolving. It has too. No longer should we be doing just Sunday night "youth group". If you are, please, for the love of St Christopher, read "Renewing the Vision" and overhaul your workload.

Part of what you need to do, whether you are the DRE for HS as well or not is know how to impart the truths to the youth. If you aren't in charge of the program at least be one of the teachers.

It had been thought that we needed to start with evangelization and then move into catechesis. Now we are discovering that they have to work in tandem. They have to hold hands, as it were. There can't be any real evangelization without some knowledge of the work of God. There can't be any real catechesis if there is not an openness to receiving Jesus Christ.

I'll flesh these out more as time goes on, but for now, chant this to yourself:
1. I will order and read "The Mystery We Proclaim" (see sidebar, hey click on it and send a few bucks my way). Repeat that ten times.
Then chant:
2. Preparation, Proclamation, Explanation, Application, Celebration (all together now...)

The General Directory will say that there is no method-and then proceeds to give us a method. Really, this is correct. It can't be said that there is only one specific way that will catechize everyone at all time. However, what has been spelled out, both in the GDC as well as TMWP is a common sense approach that works for just about everyone.

What is incumbant upon you, my dear evangelist is that you incorporate an attitude of excellent catechesis in yourselves as well as a love for the kids. Most of us go into it because we just love loving the young people, but we have to give them the Faith, not just our goofy selves.

So chew on that for awhile. Chant it til you say it in your sleep and inappropriately blurt it out at staff meetings. Or instead of the Creed at Mass. Yeah, like the parishionors already don't look at you oddly. That's all you need, huh?!

Have a good one!

Angels and Saint?

One of my loyal readers asked me this question. I had no idea, so I set him on the task. File this with your lesson plan on the angels for next year. It's a great question!

here's the answer a priest friend of mine found for me:
Q. Why are some angels, like St. Michael, considered Saints and others are just angels?

People think that only humans can be Saints. It is true that normally we think only of humans becoming Saints. According to the dictionary, the word "saint" is derived from the Latin sanctus, which means holy or sacred. An angel is a purely spiritual being and as such is noted for being holy. Heaven is the place where the angels who surround God live, along with the saints. The three angels which we refer to as "Saints" are the only three who are named in Holy Scripture. Michael remained faithful to God and led the victory against the fallen angels (Revelation 12:7-9). Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Marythat she was to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38). Raphael identified himself as "one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enterinto the presence of the glory of the Holy One" (Tobit 12:15, RSV-CE). They are referred to as Saints because they are holy, they dwell with God, and they have a name to which we can add the title of "Saint."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Respect Life Sunday

I'm a little late on this one. I knew it was coming up yet I forgot until I was at Mass this morning that this Sunday is Respect Life Sunday.

Several people from the diocese and the University lined the major road through town with signs promoting a pro-life message. Even the Bishop was out there! I was so convicted I turned around and went to go pray at the Adoration chapel.

I'm not tooting my own own. No, I realized that abortion has been so constant, so with us, to prevelant that I often don't even think about it. Yeah, when we pray for it at Mass or someone includes it in a Rosary, I'm all about praying against abortion. But I was stunned at how numb I'd become to it's realities. As the sign says Abortion DOES kill children. Abortion DOES wound women. Abortion DOES wound fathers. God DOES heal and forgive. Adoption IS a magnificent way to go.

Early on in college I had a roomate who was very involved in the pro-life work. I knew that this was not my particular calling, that in youth ministry I hoped to keep girls from even getting to the point that abortion would ever be an option. This was a good choice and it's still a large part of my vocation.

However I find that I've not advocated for the unborn or for pro-life measure with as much passion as a Christian really should. I might have mentioned it a few times during the year, but with the lull that today's world can rest on us, it is beyond vital that we make this plea more well known.

Please have the courage today to plan your entire youth group on the Pro-Life message. Below are several sites that have information. Unfortunately you will have to plan the night yourself, but I can at least point you to some good resources.

I know your work with the youth is vital, that maybe you don't think a whole lot about this point. Today, however might be a good time to wake up, to be more bold, to be more resolute both in prayer and in witness to the necessity of challenging the institution of abortion. We must wake others up, our kids and their families. They might not like the intrusion, but in all things, we teach and witness also with charity.

Life Issues
MIYouth (scroll down to see several links)
When Does Life Begin?
Rachels' Vineyard
Loads of Resources
Priests for Life