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, June 25, 2007


Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I wanted to thank everyone for being so patient for my lack of posts. Conference season has taken over my life and it's been so busy, but I've found a few minutes before I get back to homework to write a post.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers. I feel that I should share that I've gotten hired as the Director of Youth Ministry for St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. It's in the Diocese of Arlington and I'm totally excited. It was one of two jobs that I was offered, (one was at an amazing parish out of state) and I am so excited to actually be almost a real live youth minister. I'm sure the nature of my posts will change as I get closer to the big day when I start and as I live my life as a youth minister (starting in August), but for now, much of my posts will be anticipatory.

I have lots of questions. I'm a little bit scared, a lot excited and totally amazed at the opportunity, which magnifies my questions by about 150 million. One question that I have that I'd love to know your opinion on is World Youth Day! I've never attended world youth day, so being able to go period is exciting, much less going to Australia...woah! Are you as youth ministers responsible for paying for it? Do you fundraise for it like your kids do? Does your parish supplement part of it? Can you tell what kind of fundraisers your parish does for WYD? I know that that's something that I'll have to work towards, so anything that you could help me with would be great.

I have one prayer request as well. Please pray for our conferences, most especially for our youth conferences and for an outpouring of the Spirit upon the conferences. The conference season has been amazing thus far and his grace is continually poured out upon the campus for the conferences. I hope you get the opportunity to bring your kids to a conference. I've never attended one, nor do I get to see them, as my job in the department does not put me in a place in which I see the conference. I do see the participants and i see how they are full of the Spirit. He's here, he's working and he's continuing to send his grace. Please keep us in your prayers...

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hand Motion Challenge

This cracked me up when Bob showed it. Even more so because he and Chris Padgett did the Hand Motions in Heaven Song... extolling the insanity of hand motions... Bob, you kill me!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sean Forrest

I'm at our 1st (of 4) High School Youth Conferences and sitting in the back of the fieldhouse enjoying Sean Forrest. He's quite funny and rather talented.

I had heard of him years ago, but never kept up with his career. However, I think that if you are looking for a good musician and minister, he'd be a great choice. He connects to the kids very well and had a solid message. He'd be a great pick.

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The Reason for Our Hope

Have you heard Fr Larry Richards? If not, click here and listen to him. Better yet, make sure you either buy one of his dvd's or listen to him speak in your area.

Fr Larry did the Young Adult Conference two weeks ago and on Friday night he gave one of the best homilies on Confession I have ever heard. If you have never heard his talk on it, buy it SOON. He's a straight shooter, doesn't take any bs and his main concern is souls. Some people are put off by his in your face style. He's quite sarcastic as well. I say, in a world where we have SO MUCH coming at us, we need someone in our faces yelling HEY! YOUR MORTAL SOUL IS IN DANGER, GET YOUR BUTT INTO CONFESSION!

He's a great resource to have on your shelf. No, not on your shelf, to show to people, in your parish, to your adults, to your volunteers. Make sure you hear him preach.

His website is The Reason For Our Hope Foundation.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pushing Porn

One of the things I have noticed over the past 10 years is the move to normalize porn. I don't mean just a wink wink good ol' boys will do what they do sort of attitude. I don't even mean the acceptance of it in a sitcom or that women are now expected to look and behave like porn stars.

It's just simply not enough. No, it must be promoted! Like homosexuality, and dating being synonamous with sex. You can't even escape it when you are innocent.

(hat tip, Barb Nicolosi-see "YouTube sleeze")


gee, I wonder what "US Catholic" (see below)would have to say about this in relation to their article that having sex outside of marriage isn't a sin. It's an easy jump to worse things when God's ways of how he created us to be are not upheld.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Youth Ministry in the United States

One of the extraordinary perks of my job is the people I get to work with. I often wonder if that is the reason that God brought me back to Steubenville, is to meet up with these folks and begin talking about what is really important.

I had such a conversation with Mark Berchem, director of NET Ministries. Even though I'm working here at the University, my heart is still in Youth Ministry, particularly for the Youth Ministers. We talked about where youth ministry needs to go and what minsters are needing.

Let's just say I left that meeting with my heart pounding. I believe God is about a movement in our country. There are SO many excellent ministries for and directed at youth. It is not enough, yet, but faithfulness to the Church and her teachings is on the rise. I have dreams of going to a certain federation of certain "youth ministers" on a "national level" and telling them either get with the Church or get lost. No more can they be the guiding influence of youth ministry in this country.

YOU are in the trenches. You are more than likely wanting to be faithful to the Church but are often challenged by other youth ministers, your own pastor, parents and even the crummy stuff that is out there called "resources" (I'm thinking Center for Ministry Development, Generations of Faith, etc).

We can do better. We can be holier. We can listen to the Holy Spirit. We can be maleable and do God's will. It takes a willingness. Will you be willing? Will you listen? Will you, by the grace of God BE what he needs you to be-nothing more, nothing less?

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It's Not A Sin If We Simply Change The Rules!

My brother sent me a link to this article. What doofuses! (Would the plural be doofi?)

Seriously. I think "U.S. Catholic" really means to say "US Catholic".

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Promises Promises

We WILL do the Ecclesial Method, I promise.

But as Associate Director of these Conferences, I'm over loaded.

But I do have a few words to say, so I'll post a few notes.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Who Moved my Cheese ?!?!?!

For the mini-mester, I took a graduate level youth ministry course with Bob Rice. In case you're unfamiliar with him, Bob Rice is a crazy, amazing, HOLY man who's semi-famous for his youth ministry skills at a LIFETEEN hub parish in Albany, New York. He brought LIFETEEN to Steubenville and for the last several years, he's been leading the music ministry for the Steubenville Summer Conferences. He's perhaps most famous however for his recent, "Hand motions in Heaven" at the NFCYM conference in Las Vegas, NV. Okay, maybe not the most famous, but it's pretty funny (look it up on Anyways, in all this fame, he still has time to teach classes at our fine university. I've had him for one class before, but for this minimester, he was brave enough to teach youth ministry to grad students. Even though there were only seven of us in the class, it was utterly amazing.

We had lots of reading to do and it was all great :). We read a few "business" books, because Bob felt that we had to understand a lot of business in youth ministry. He summarized the Seven Habits of Highly effective people, We read "the Five Dysfunctions of a Team", along with a few other really good books. The one that was super exciting to me was "Who Moved my Cheese?" It was great.....A friend of mine read it and recommended it to me in undergrad, but I didn't read it. The book is a super quick read (less than 100 pages), but in those pages, there's a ton of action. The book opens with reviews in which people are talking about how great the book is and how it changed their life. I scoffed, not believing that my life would be changed...I was wrong.

Read the book, it's pretty amazing, and it's all about how to respond to change. There's two points in the book in which I UNDERLINED, CIRCLED and put exclamation points next to. I think it's very applicable to all of life, but especially to ministry. I've listed them below:

1. What would you do if you were unafraid?
2. the way we imagine something to be is normally far worse then it really is.

I think this is some amazing food for thought. Fear paralyzes me and it's good to think about what you would do if you were unafraid. That right there, has made all of the difference to me. Get the book, read it, think about it and really, bring it to prayer. It's pretty amazing! I highly recommend it.

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Sorry for the lack of posts lately! We've been incredibly busy with the conference season starting up and I had a class in the minimester, so life of course is crazy on this end. Hopefully, we'll be able to post a little more frequently.

On the eve of an interview for a position at a parish in Virginia, I'm less nervous than my last interview, a little more confident, and completely overwhelmed by God's love. I know that this seems to repeat the things that I've said previously, but the truth is, the closer I get to finishing my degree and working in a parish, the more overwhelmed I feel by God's love.

I've never been picked first for everything. I'm THAT girl. If life was a pageant, I'd be first runner up. Seriously, I'm always the girl that is in second place etc. Even when I applied to be an RA at my undergrad, I was chosen as an alternate. I ended up being called the summer before my sophomore year and asked to take the place of an RA. I did and tried my best to rise to the occasion. The thing is, I might be second place, or the second pick, but once I get it, I'll do everything in my power to show you that I want to do the job and that the decision to put me in that place was worth it. Being an RA was incredibly rewarding and one of the best jobs I've ever had. I like to think I rose to the occasion. So, imagine my surprise to have parishes persuing me. It's an unreal experience! A few parishes think that I'm at least worthy enough to interview me. One parish is even flying me out of state for an interview. I can't believe it. It's hard for me to understand how I could ever be worthy, how is it possible that I get to be in this ministry? I don't want to sound naive about being a youth minister. At the same time, I'm kind of just in that WHOA stage. To quote papa, "I'm just a simple laborer in the vineyard of the Lord". It's crazy to see my education and my experience coming together, that there's the potential for me to be working at one of these parishes. Even more amazing to me is the concept of God working through me, being and instrument that will bring people hopefully to him. It's overwhelming, it's exciting, it's humbling and it's so HUGE, while at the same time so small. Being small is something that I'm coming to realize every day. This job search has brought me to my knees, I can't imagine what it will be like in full time ministry. I'm young, I love me some Jesus and I'm full of hope for our Church. Keep me in your prayers. I am so unworthy and that just overwhelms me! I'm praying for you. Keep the faith and keep on loving those teens.

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