Here are the youth ministry notes! I hope you have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!
- “Meet and Greets” With Vicky, August 27 (St. Paul, Valparaiso) and 29 (Sacred Heart, LaPorte), 6:30 PM. Thank you to everyone who has attended one of the Meet and Greets last week! It was great to gather with you and discuss how we can best serve young people in NWI. If you weren’t able to make it last week, there are two more this week. One is today at St. Paul in Valpo and the last is on Thursday in LaPorte. If you aren’t able to attend one of the gatherings, please let me know. I would be happy to send you the agenda and my notes.
- NET Retreat: Dates Available! I mentioned this last week, but I wanted to put it out there again. If you are looking for a retreat for your students in December, look no further! NET Ministries will be in NWI early December. Their schedule is still open to hold a retreat December 2 and 12. If you, your parish, or school would be interested in hosting a retreat, please let me know at email@example.com. You can also go to netusa.org for more information.
- World Youth Day 2022: Lisbon, Portugal, August 2022. I know. 2022 is a long way away, but that will give us a lot of time to do some planning. If your parish is interested in sending a group to World Youth Day, please let me know. I’m hoping to have an informational meeting next month.
- Diocesan Council on Young Adult Evangelization: I know this email is for youth ministry leaders, but if your parish has a young adult ministry going (ministry to those in their 20’s and 30’s), is in the process of starting young adult ministry, or has a desire to start young adult ministry, then you are invited to look into the Diocesan Council on Young Adult Evangelization (previously called the Bishop’s Council on Young Adult Evangelization). The DCYAE has three main goals: Serve as an advocate for young adult Catholics, support and provide resources to parish/local young adult ministry efforts, and present opportunities for diocesan events that inspire and nurture the faith of young adult Catholics. If you would like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Diocesan Youth Council. Don’t forget to let me know who will be your Diocesan Youth Council reps if you have not done so. Thank you to everyone who has! Check out https://www.garyoyya.org/dyc/ for more information.
- Gráste Dé! Focus Group. If you would like to be part of the Gráste Dé! focus group, please let me know by Friday, August 30th. I’ll send out an email the following week to see when would be the best time to meet. You can email me at email@example.com.
- Share Your Story: The Diocesan Communications Department would love to share your story! If your ministry or parish is doing an event or you know of a “local young person success story,” please share it with Colleen Rabine, the Director of Communications. Even if it is something that you always do or you don’t think it is “news worthy,” the communications department wants to hear about it. Colleen has stressed to me that she wants the Northwest Indiana Catholic to shine a light on how young Catholics are living out their faith! We can only do that if we know about it! Colleen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org of you can email me and I would be happy to pass along your good news.
- Youth Minister Feedback Encouraged: I’m in the process of compiling a list of possible trainings the Office for Youth and Young Adults could offer. What kind of trainings or formations would help you? You can email me at email@example.com.
Youth Ministry Events and Formation
- Igniting the Fire, September 14-15, St. Matthias Catholic Church, Crown Point. All 6th-12th grade youth are invited to Igniting the Fire, September 14-15, at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Crown Point. ITF has a prayerful, retreat-style feel with elements of lock-in-style fun! For more information or to register, go to http://ignitingthefire.org/ If you have any questions, feel free to visit the Directions/Contact page and reach out to the ITF team. You can also print out and share this nifty flyer.
- NWI Awakening 2, October 4-6, Holy Name Catholic Church, Cedar Lake. After a successful first retreat back in April, we are happy to announce NWI Awakening 2 will be happening October 4-6th at Holy Name Catholic Church in Cedar Lake. Young adults 18-25 are invited to a weekend of fun, faith, and and getting to know the Awakening community. Come encounter Christ with follow young adults on what will be an amazing weekend. $30 covers everything and scholarships are available to help with the cost. For more info, check out https://www.garyoyya.org/awakening-retreat/
- Holy Fire 2019, October 18 or 19, Credit Union 1 Arena, Chicago. If you are looking for a faith experience for your middle school students, the Archdiocese of Chicago is hosting “Holy Fire 2019,” in October. Open to 6-9th graders, young people will hear high energy musicians and inspirational speakers from around the country and join with thousands of youth to get inspired for their faith. More info can be found at www.holyfirechicago.org.
- Youth Ministers’ Retreat, January 24-25, 2020, Lindenwood Retreat Center. Save the Date! Youth Ministers are invited to the third annual Youth Minsters’ Retreat, hosted once again at Lindenwood. More info will come out in a few months. If you are interested in attending, please click this link to fill out an interest form. Please note: that link will not register you for the retreat. The information collected will be used to help plan the retreat.
Just a Thought:
A few people during the Meet and Greets discussed looking for resources for helping teens with mental health concerns
. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM, the folks who put on NCYC) have an extensive list of resources on their website
It’s helpful to have a list of people you you can refer a person in crisis to. You might have to do some homework, but it’s helpful to see which mental health agencies or healthcare providers are in your area. Finding them now and storing them in an easy to find place will help you respond quickly if a crisis arises.
Some general suggestions for how to help someone with a mental health issue:
- Stop. Take a deep breath. Remember your own coping skills when helping others.
- Don’t say, “Stop being sad,” or “just eat more.” Instead, say, “how can I help?” or “I’m here with you.”
- Use “I statements.” Instead of saying, “You look skinny,” or “you sure do cry a lot,” say, “I really care about you. I’ve been noticing that you have been skipping meals a lot. I’m concerned. Is there something wrong?”
- If someone does say that there is something wrong:
- Thank them for opening up and acknowledge that this might be hard for them to do.
- Offer to do whatever you can to safely help the person.
- If they pushes you away:
- Do not take it personally. Often feelings of anger, denial, guilt, or rejection are part of the mental health issue.
- Do not engage in an argument with the other person.
- Calmly state your concern again and that you are there for that person.
- It’s ok to drop the subject, and bring it up again a few days to a week later.
- If someone expresses that they are experiencing a crisis (suicidal or homicidal ideation, recent victim of sexual or physical assault, or extremely disorganized or bizarre thinking or perceptions):
- If they say that they want to hurt themselves or others, get immediate help (call 911).
- Make sure you are taking care of your own wellness while you are attempting to help another person. Talk to a trusted mentor, spiritual director, or supervisor. Seek counseling yourself. You can care for the other person and support their path to recovery without taking on their struggles.
- Once they accept help, continue to be there for for them. They should be learning new ways to cope, manager stress and anxiety, and manage their own health. It may not be an easy road they will be walking on. You can continue to be there for them by listening to their struggles, encouraging them when they are feeling down, and let them know they are not alone.
Peace and all goodness,
Ministry Consultant for Youth and Young Adult Ministry