Being part of a community is a necessary component of our spiritual lives. The need for community is even more important for youth, who seek answers to their questions and look for like-minded friends.
Here at All Saints, our youth have the incredible opportunity to find community, learn about the faith, and have fun, all in our Youth Ministry programs.
“The goal of All Saints’ Youth Ministry is to help young people encounter Jesus, develop a relationship with Him, and to be formed in a community to be missionary disciples ready to share the Gospel to the world around them,” says Kevin Cabrera, coordinator of high school and young adults ministries in our parish.
Kevin has just wrapped up his first year as coordinator and is looking ahead to the next year of ministry.
“I have been so blessed in just the past year to see how the high schoolers have demonstrated the spirit of evangelization by inviting their friends into the community and by helping newcomers feel welcome,” he says.
The Youth Ministry high school students gather twice weekly — once on Wednesday evenings for Bible Study and Sunday evenings for Illuminate. The Illuminate nights entail an in-depth dive into certain topics related to the faith. During the summer months, the youth also have FIAT service week and various events.
Here in our parish, the high school program strives to meet the needs of the youth and where they are.
“The hope is to help teens engage with each other, as well as with the truths of the faith,” Kevin says. “We strive to achieve that through providing the teens with a variety of opportunities such as small groups, community and personal prayer, retreat experiences, guest speakers, youth conferences, and social events.”
The teens also have the opportunity to give to our community and serve right here in the parish.
“During the school year teens can volunteer to help lead junior high retreats and small groups, and they can assist with parish events such as the Lenten Dinners or Help Your Neighbor Sunday,” Kevin says. “We also encourage teens to serve for parish liturgies, Masses, holy hours, etc. They can be teen ushers, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, or serve with the youth Mass choir. During the summer teens can participate in our FIAT summer service week, or by volunteering for our Vacation Bible School.”
As he looks forward to the new school year, Kevin hopes to have a fall and spring retreat, to explore apologetics, and to seek out more events, both fun and evangelical. He emphasizes the importance of growing the Youth Ministry and getting young people actively involved in the Church.
“Our young people will shape the future of the Church in many significant ways,” Kevin says. “But most importantly, because they are young souls and the Church has a responsibility to guide them in faith and beyond during their formative adolescent years.”
Kevin enjoys getting to know the teens and learning about their lives.
“I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me,” he says. “It’s awesome to see how our youth have grown in maturity and faith over the years. I also enjoy trying to beat them in ping pong and Smash Bros.”
The high school youth program is open for Core adult volunteers who are safe-environment cleared “to share their lives with our young people and help provide encouragement and a good example,” says Kevin.
For more information about the Youth Ministry at All Saints, contact Kevin Cabrera at firstname.lastname@example.org.