Prior to 2004, Youth Ministry’s main focus was to plug into Harford Area Youth Ministry events as well as offering a few social and service events. Youth Ministry primarily ran independently and did not have a lot of interaction with other ministries at St Francis de Sales. In 2005 a new Youth Minister was hired and directed to provide social, service and spiritual activities while collaborating with other ministries at St Francis de Sales. Over the last eleven years there has been great progress in our ability to journey with the youth of St Francis de Sales. We have seen a steady increase in youth involvement, due to the numerous adult volunteers who have stepped forward. We have a dedicated team of adults who focus on youth in middle school (MS) & high school – Anglo (JIF), and middle school/high school – Latino (NG). We not only offer spiritual, social and service activities/events; we also have steady participation in AOB/Regional/National events, a theatre group, the Shadow Players, and of course fundraising events so everyone who wants to participate is able to participate. Most of our events are inclusive of both Anglo and Latino communities; however, we also offer events maintaining traditions of our individual communities. This year we have really focused on building leaders among our youth. Each distinct group (MS, JIF, NG) has its own leadership committee, and we also have a Youth Council to oversee all youth programs. Nearly all our events/activities are in collaboration with another parish group at St Francis de Sales e.g. with Liturgical Ministries, Faith Formation, Knights of Columbus, Ladies Knights of Columbus, and Outreach. Going forward we need to refine and continue to develop youth leaders, to join our Anglo and Latino communities, and to reach out to youth at St Francis de Sales.
By Diane Lewis
REMEMBER WE ARE ST. FRANCIS OF ALL AGES!