The YM Newsletter | May 2017 | Queen of heaven rejoice, alleluia!


In this issue:

  1. Creating a space for conversation, part II
  2. Pray for our pilgrims going to Rome!
  3. Diocesan Youth Council applications available!
  4. NET - 2017 dates still available
  5. Diocesan summer camp postcards
  6. PROGRAM ALERT: "13 Reasons Why"
  7. May 6 Cor Jesu - cancelled
  8. 2017 Discipleship Day
  9. Have a blessed summer!

Creating a space for conversation, part II

In our last issue, we discussed the importance of starting a conversation with youth and that as simple as that may seem, that really is the starting point of evangelization. It only makes sense: if you want to spread the Gospel, you have to actually talk to people. Granted we often times think we can avoid that step, and boy are we guilty of it in youth ministry! But let's face it: it's easier to bring in a big name speaker who's "dynamic" and funny to talk about Jesus than boring old me. So, we give them a microphone and a soapbox and they do their thing.

But then they leave.

I would argue that as much as we hail speaker-circuit Catholics as the experts of evangelization, they really have the easy job. They come in, do their speech (which they love giving), answer some questions, and then leave. But who's going to follow up with those who heard the talk? Who's going to be there for them as they learn the ways of Christian discipleship? And who's going to have to figure out how to create that "space" were discipleship can then happen?


Yes, you. The one who works on the parish level. I would say that there are a few things that need to happen in order to ensure there is a place for conversations with youth to happen (and remember, those conversations are the simple first step toward conversion and discipleship). I'm just going to list three of them for now and then we'll go from there.

1) Pray. Yep, I just did that. I'm going to be "that guy." You know, the one who tells you after a long rant about how bad your life is to just "pray." But really, if you plan to take a position in a parish as some sort of leader, you need to have a steady prayer life. Actually, if you're baptized, you need to have a steady prayer life. My challenge: at least 15 minutes every day of prayer. We won't go into what that looks like. For now, just do it.

2) Talk to people. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but as per March's issue, you should know the importance of this skill by now. I'm not good at it, and few are, but as Christians we need to develop the skill of striking up a conversation. Whether it be after Mass or at the gas station, you never know where those conversations might lead you. Or rather, you never know where the Holy Spirit might lead you!

3) Involve a priest. The priest is the spiritual father of the flock, and any apostolic endeavor you undertake should be with some sort of guidance or involvement from your parish priest. This is crucial, because spiritually speaking, by recognizing the authority of the priest, we are working within the hierarchy (literally, "sacred order") Christ established. The Holy Spirit loves structure, believe it or not, and when we work within that structure He often blesses our endeavors in ways we'd never imagine. Priests, I would encourage you to be involved in your youth group or youth events. The youth are a part of your flock just as much as anyone else, and in the same way that children love to see their dads involved in their lives, so too do the youth of your parish love to see you involved as well.

This should lay the groundwork leading up to really getting that ball rolling in terms of youth evangelization. Perhaps you're already seeing the direction this is going, but if not, stay tuned for part III.

Pray for our pilgrims going to Rome!

On June 10, 13 youth and their chaperones will gather in New Ulm to prepare for their pilgrimage to Rome from June 11-21. They will see sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the tomb of Pope St. John Paul II, Assisi, Siena, and the great myriad of religious sites in the Eternal City. Please, in your charity, say a prayer for the pilgrims. I look forward to sharing photos from the pilgrimage of a lifetime.

Diocesan Youth Council applications available!

If you know any youth who would be interested in joining a team of faithful teens who help to host Cor Jesu, "invite-a-friend" days, and most importantly who desire to grow in their relationship with Christ, please click the button below and download an application. The DYC is also a great opportunity for youth to find like-minded Catholics who will inspire them to greater holiness. Visit for more information.
DYC Application

NET - 2017 dates still available

The NET Team will be available for nine retreat days between the dates of October 20-31. If you are interested in hosting a NET retreat in the Fall of 2017,click the blue button below to download the attached request form and send it to Cindy Blickem by June 14. Date requests are granted on a first come, first- served basis.
NET Request Form

Diocesan summer camp postcards

You should have received six postcards (three for each camp) in the mail. These are useful to hand out to youth you think may be interested in camp. I've already given out about 30 extra postcards and Cindy and I are more than happy to mail you more if you need them! Below is information for each camp.

Camp Beloved

July 22-26
Schoenstatt, Sleepy Eye
Grades 6-12

Camp Greatness

Middle School
July 27-30
Schoenstatt, Sleepy Eye
Grades 6-8

High School
July 31-August 4
Schoenstatt, Sleepy Eye
Grades 9-12

PROGRAM ALERT: "13 Reasons Why"

The National Catholic Educational Association recently sent out an email alerting those involved in evangelization and catechesis about Netflix's edgy new show, "13 Reasons Why." The show is based on a fictional character named Hannah who commits suicide and leaves behind "13 reasons why" she did so. The material is heavy, yet aimed at adolescents, so it is important to stay informed. Click HERE to view the email, which includes more information and resources to properly address the issue.

May 6 Cor Jesu - cancelled

The Cor Jesu scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at St. Aloysius in Olivia has been cancelled. The June 2 Cor Jesu at Cathedral is still on, however, and will feature Bishop LeVoir as presider!

2017 Discipleship Day

Formerly called Faith Formation Day, Discipleship Day will be held on September 30, 2017. Sean Innerst will be speaking on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. An announcement was sent out in the UPDATE and a "save the date" will be sent in the next parish mailing. Stay tuned for more information!

Have a blessed summer!

This will be the last issue of The YM Newsletter for the 2016-2017 academic year. Thank you for all the good work you do! I look forward to working alongside many of you over the summer and to gather together in September. Please do not hesitate to call or email if you need anything over the summer and don't forget to glance at the "Upcoming events" below. May God bless our summer programming and apostolic endeavors!

Upcoming events:

June 2: Cor Jesu | Cathedral | New Ulm
June 11-21: Rome Youth Pilgrimage
July 22-26: Camp Beloved | Schoenstatt-on-the-Lake | Sleepy Eye
July 27-30: Camp Greatness - Middle School | Schoenstatt-on-the-Lake | Sleepy Eye
July 31 - August 4: Camp Greatness - High School | Schoenstatt-on-the-Lake | Sleepy Eye
August 5-7: TEC #266 | Holy Trinity Catholic Church | Winsted
September 30: Discipleship Day | TBD
more events...
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