Youth ministry programs are designed to help the children and teens of the parish grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, strengthen their understanding of their Catholic faith, and make their faith an integral part of their daily lives. In addition to spiritual formation, the program is also about fellowship and fun. Building relationships with others is important to keep the youth connected and engaged, and many of our members develop some of their closest friendships through youth group. One of the most fundamental parts of the program are the relationships between our youth members and between our youth members and their adult leaders
The youth ministry program is headed by our coordinator of youth ministry, who is the primary adult involved with the children. There are also other adult volunteers that may assist, and whenever possible one of the parish priests may join in. All adults volunteering and working with the groups have completed their safe environment requirements including required PA state background checks, and are in compliance with all Archdiocesan policies regarding working with youth including attendance at Protecting God’s Children class and Online Mandated Reporter Training.
The youth ministry program currently includes our Middle School Youth Group and our High School Youth Group. General information for each group is below.
The Middle School Youth Group includes students in grades 6-8 .
High school youth group includes students in grades 9-12.
Most sessions start with a large group discussion and then the students are broken into small groups for ongoing discussion and activities. We also try to include games and other fun activities throughout the sessions.
Middle School Youth groups meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5:30 pm - 7 pm in the school gym.
High School Youth Group meets on Tuesday nights from 7 pm - 8:30 pm in the CLC (across from the courtyard from the church.
Absolutely! We try to provide the youth with many different activities, including those that allow them service and leadership opportunities, and the chance to interact with other members of our parish and of the broader community. Some of those include:
· The high school youth group usually does a 1-week mission trip in the summer. Projects might include working at a food bank, helping out at a shelter, or even helping to build or repair homes.
· The high school members are also invited to attend a Steubenville Youth Conference in the summer. This is usually partnered with the mission trip and is either at the beginning or end of that week.
· We offer an overnight retreat for our freshman and sophomore students, as well as a Kairos retreat for our juniors and seniors.
· Older members of our youth groups are invited and encouraged to assist with the younger students during meetings and events.
· We are currently working to team up with other parish ministries to have our youth working alongside other members of our parish on a wide variety of tasks including the parish-wide Stewardship Day of Service.
· Members are encouraged to get involved in the liturgical life of the parish as altar servers, singers/musicians, lectors (16+ years old), or greeters. Extraordinary minister of the Blessed Sacrament must be 18 years old and a High School graduate.
· In addition, we occasionally plan fun outings, which might include a park day, a trip to an amusement park, a movie night, etc. We’re always open to suggestions, so if you have an idea, feel free to share it!
While we encourage all youth to join in our youth ministry programs, the actual required preparation for Confirmation is done through the parish Elementary Faith Formation (EFF) program.
Yes! We love volunteers! There are many ways to help support our program, whether it’s chaperoning meetings or events, sending updates for the website to the coordinator, helping coordinate program registrations, providing snacks, or some other task. If you’re willing to help, just contact us and we’ll help find just the right place for you. (All parents/volunteers working directly with the youth must have completed the Protecting God’s Children training and completed all required background checks.
While we encourage all the youth of the parish to become members of the youth group, we welcome anyone who is interested to join us and check out what we’re about. We have members from SaintElizabeth and other Catholic parishes, and welcome non-Catholic members, including some who have not had much exposure to any particular faith. Youth members attend Catholic schools, public schools, or are home schooled. There is no required knowledge or background to come. We strive to meet each person where they are and let them know they are accepted and valued in our community.
While we would love to see all of our members come to every meeting, we know that isn’t practical. There is no attendance requirement. Come to everything, only occasionally, or even once or twice just to check us out. We do ask that anyone attending our youth ministry programs completes the registration process. This allows us to keep you informed about upcoming meetings, events, and opportunities, and it also provides us with necessary parent/emergency contact information.