This summer, our Youth Ministry team proved that living the faith can be lots of fun! They hosted numerous events throughout the summer, keeping the kids and teens engaged and excited about the faith.
In late May, Youth Minister Alex Molzer brought a group of 20 teens and five chaperones to Georgia for a week where they did a mud run and a paint run and spent time at Camp Hidden Lake run by LifeTeen.
“The kids had a blast,” Alex says. “They enjoyed every minute of it, and so did the chaperones.”
Alex believes offering the youth opportunities to be together in a fun environment is vital for their faith lives, and the summer offers us a prime time to do just that.
“These kinds of fun activities really water the seeds that are planted catechetically throughout the year,” Alex says. “They give us a chance to break down the walls and take off the masks that the teens so often put up in daily lives. Life as a teen comes with many challenges, and giving them the opportunities to grow together in faith while having lots of fun is such a gift.”
So, after starting the summer off with camp, the high school youth gathered every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. for guys’ and girls’ small groups followed by Mass together.
On Mondays, the middle school youth gathered for dodgeball and dinner with a bit of catechesis tossed in.
“The goal of our summer gatherings was to give them a home where they could enjoy fellowship and fun,” Alex says. “Some of the youth had told me that in the past they have felt disconnected from their youth group friends in the summertime, and I wanted us to do what we could to ensure that didn’t happen this year. The sense of community is so important for our youth as they learn to live their faith. So, I felt like giving them a place to come in the summer was key to helping fortify some of the bonds they have made with one another.”
In July, a group of high school youth went to the Steubenville Orlando conference. And they spent many nights hanging out at bonfires, playing mini golf, and singing karaoke.
It was a summer full of faith-filled fun, and our grade school youth enjoyed it too! In July many of them participated in our parish’s Summit Camp, where they focused on the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church’s life.
Summit Camp was three days of Eucharistic-focused fun, concluding with time in adoration together.
“We wanted to keep the kids connected during the summer,” says Ticia Gallo, Kids’ Minister. “What better way than bringing them into Christ’s Eucharistic presence — the pinnacle of our faith?”
The kids clearly enjoyed their time as many of them were asking Ticia when the next camp is, and Ticia couldn’t be more encouraged by their enthusiasm.
“They respond so well to what we’re showing them and teaching them during camp,” Ticia says. “They love the fellowship and have so much fun together.”
When summer 2024 rolls around, there is surely more fun to be had, and as we move into the fall, our Youth Ministry has many more events on the horizon. But for now, we bid a fond farewell to summertime, grateful for the grace to grow in faith in such a fun-filled manner!