Misperception: Youth Ministry is just playing games.
Comprehensive youth ministry incorporates eight components of ministry to young people as designated by the United States Catholic Conference (USCC), in their document, “Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry.” These include advocacy, catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice/service, leadership development, pastoral care and prayer/worship. All components are necessary for a holistic approach that is attractive, appropriate for and beneficial to youth. Each experience is rooted in our Catholic faith and tradition.
Misperception: My child attends Catholic school or religious education; they get enough faith education. There’s no need to participate in youth ministry.
St. Brigid’s comprehensive youth ministry offers more than just faith education. It is comprehensive. It is about faith formation and faith integration – the living out of one’s faith, building connections between life-faith experiences, connecting youth with their parish community, fostering a sense of Catholic identity within self and with peers. Offerings include a wide variety of experiences to develop the entire person well beyond just knowledge.
Question: If my child isn’t able to attend youth group regularly, can they still attend special events?
All youth ministry events are open to anyone at anytime. There is no required attendance policy or special membership. Whether a teen comes to one, none, or all of the regular LIFE gatherings, they are ALWAYS welcome to come to the events that interest them. Every youth isn’t always interested in youth faith sharing/learning gatherings, but they may be interested in some of the special events (service, socials, and outings). This is why we offer a wide variety of events to meet as many needs as possible.
Question: Can my child’s non-Catholic friend be involved in a Catholic youth ministry event?
Every youth ministry event is open to any youth Catholic or not. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. We have some non-Catholics that attend just as much as our own parish youth. We are not out to convert, but to offer opportunities for youth to gather comfortably in Christian community.
Question: What do I do when my child doesn’t want to go on retreat, but I want them to go?
This is a tough situation. St. Brigid’s comprehensive youth ministry offers great retreats that are designed to meet the needs and situations of where the kids are at – whether they want to be there or are present through strong parental encouragement. We support the parental encouragement of a child’s participation. We are confident in the quality of ministry we offer that we can provide a positive experience for almost any teen. We have kids that can attest to their conversion experiences that were assisted by parental nudging to get involved!
Misperception: Only the kids active in our regular youth gatherings are being ministered to.
This is why the ‘ministry of presence’ is so important in comprehensive youth ministry at St. Brigid. The young people of St. Brigid do not become connected to their parish through youth gatherings alone. Connections are built through relationships, meeting teens on their turf, invitations, and attentiveness to their needs. This is why connections to the parish come in ministry of presence to ages beginning below the junior high years in school/religious education, visits to area private/public high schools and events, mail ministry with newsletters/notes of affirmation, involvement with scouts, athletics, and more.