Consultation and Discussion

Members of the Young Catholic Ecclesial Commission offer support to parishes implementing one of the Young Catholic initiatives. This support ranges from informal discussions to more formal consultations, depending on the needs and desires of the Parish. Additionally, team members have experience with the various resources below – please contact us if you’d like additional information. Please contact commission chair, Matt Kresich at to begin the discussion.

Websites – Organizations

  • Diocese of Gary Youth and Young Adult Website – THE go to website for the most current information about Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Gary.
  • Busted Halo – An website with extensive resources for young adult Catholics.
  • Blessed Is She – A website created by and focused on Catholic women. A good website for women of all ages.
  • Amazing Parish Conference – Website and conference program built around two books for revisioning the Catholic Parish – Rebuilt and Divine Renovation.
  • FORMED – A website with extensive resources – books, videos, etc. Offered by subscription to parishes.
  • Focus – The website for a program of Campus Ministry for colleges.  The associated website for students has a number of resources available that may be helpful in young adult ministry.
  • Endow – A website and program whose goal is to “To be the Catholic voice and home for all women, helping them to become the best version of themselves – living vessels of Christ to the world around them.”
  • Life Teen – A website and program for and about teens and teen ministry. The program is running at several parishes in the Diocese. Resources available even if you’re not running a program.
  • Mary’s Press – Publisher of Bibles, books, etc. geared to youth and young adults. There’s an extensive resource section on the website.
  • Bluefish TV/RightNow Media – A large collection of videos and programs for Christian high school aged people. Prices for resources vary.
  • Bulldog Catholic – A website of the Catholic Community of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Hosts many homilies by Fr. Mike Schmitz and other resources.
  • Real Life Catholic – A website by Chris Stefanick hosting many resources for engaging and growing the Catholic Faith. Highly recommended.
  • Andrew Missionaries – An organization that provides consulting and coaching in youth ministry for parishes and organizations.
  • Ascension Press – An organization that offers books, video and other resources for growing the Faith in teens and young adults. Some specific offerings are found elsewhere in these resources.
  • The Newman Connection – An organization sponsoring Catholic college ministry. Resources available not just for college but all young adults.
  • – A website offering many resources for youth ministry. Some are free, some paid.
  • Forming Intentional Disciples Facebook Forum – A forum to explore best practices built around the book Forming Intentional Disciples.
  • Rebuilt Website – A website with resources to facilitate the suggestions in the book Rebuilt.
  • Archdiocese of Indianapolis Youth Ministry Page – From the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Some of the resources might be helpful to parishes in the Gary Diocese.
  • Archdiocese of Indianapolis Young Adult Page – From the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Some of the resources might be helpful to parishes in the Gary Diocese.
  • National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry – Perhaps the premier Catholic Youth Ministry organization in the United States. Many resources – some for members only.
  • NCYC – Website for the largest gathering of Catholic youth in the United States.
  • Thrive – An extensive website with training videos, worksheets, and personal support to help youth ministers do their ministry. Part of ProjectYM.
  • V Encuentro y la Pastoral Juvenil / The V Encuentro and Young People – Since 1972, the Church in the United States has been holding National Encuentros to call forward Hispanic/Latino Catholics to share their stories, bring forth their needs, and discern where the Spirit is leading them. In the context of this dialogue among the bishops and the community, those who have participated in the Encuentro process “live a spirit of pastoral ministry illuminated by an ecclesiological communion and missionary vocation that seeks to reach out to those who find themselves estranged from the life and vision of the Church.  The main objective of the process of the Encuentro is to discern the way in which Hispanics/Latinos respond as Church.” During the V Encuentro, a special emphasis was made to talk with young people about their current needs and conduct national research on who our young, Hispanic/Latino Catholic friends were.

Webinars for Ministry Formation

  • Ave Maria Press – Join Ave Maria Press online for a series of free, professional development webinars for parish ministers! Enjoy access to free presentations by experts in every area of parish ministry from the comfort of your home or office. Log in to the live webinars to participate in our question-and-answer sessions or watch the free recordings at your convenience. Past webinars are also available to be viewed at any time.
  • National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry – One-hour formational events hosted by NFCYM and presented free to ministry leaders and volunteers as part of their mission to support and strengthen those who accompany young people as they encounter and follow Jesus Christ. Beginning January 1, 2022 anyone can join the live presentation of the webinars. A NFCYM Membership will be required to view recordings of webinars. Both Spanish and English webinars are available.
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Young Adult Resources – The USCCB National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry hosts monthly networking events and webinars on various topics regarding ministry with young adults. Check out their website for past webinars and sign up for their mailing list to be notified when the next webinar will be held. These webinars are useful for people who minister to young adults or youth. Some are available in Spanish.
  • The V Encuentro: Where Do We Go From Here? – “The consultation and missionary activities of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic / Latino Ministry have empowered our Catholic faithful to reach out with love and compassion to neighbors in need, and to stretch their capacity for leadership, organization, and the use of technology to extend the mission of the church. From its earliest organizing meetings, concern for Hispanic / Latino youth and young adults has been at the forefront of the design and implementation of the process.This webinar will provide in-depth analysis of the ways Hispanic young people participated in and contributed to the V Encuentro consultation, as well as providing some noteworthy findings that will serve as the basis for dialogue and reflection on the present and future of Hispanic youth and young adult ministry.”


  • Alpha – an ecumenical program for exploring the Christian Faith. The program consists of meal, presentation and discussion spread over a number of weeks.
  • Altaration – A program for teens and young adults exploring the Catholic Mass presented by Ascension Press.
  • Letter to Women -From Endow – a study guide focuses on JP II’s Letter to Women.
  • That One Girl – A book from Lifeteen that perfect for small groups our individual reading. Focuses on Mary as model.
  • One Eight Confirmation Program – A Confirmation program from Life Teen.
  • Decision Point – A Confirmation program from Matthew Kelly built around the decision that one has to make in life. Videos and book – the program is offered to parishes at extremely reasonable prices.
  • Chosen – A Confirmation program from Ascension Press consisting of videos and book.
  • Theology of the Body – From Ascension Press this program adapts St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body into a comprehensive program. Makes use of video, books and instructor traning. Available for middle schoolers and  Available for high schoolers
  • Symbolon – The Augustine Institute has prepared an extensive program for faith formation. Suited for RCIA as well as general catechesis the program uses videos, along with workbook to present a comprehensive look at the Faith.  Also available on FORMED and via Lighthouse Media.
  • Bible Timeline – From Ascension Press presents the Bible in timeline fashion.
  • The Great Bible Study Adventure – A Bible study program from Ascension Press.


  • Diocese of Gary YouTube Page – Watch homilies and video messages from Bishop Robert McClory
  • Anima – a video journey in Faith from Ahava Productions featuring Bishop Donald Hying. Available on FORMED and also Vimeo in a series of three videos: Crux, Blaze, and Kenosis
  • C4 – A series of videos by Bishop Donald Hying explaining some of the facets of the Catholic Faith by reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Prepared for the Year of Faith 2012-2013.
  • Echo – A series of video build around the chapters in the US Catechism for Adults by Bishop Donald Hying.
  • Divine Mercy – The Greatest Story Ever Told – A video program with study guides about Divine Mercy. Available on FORMED.
  • Share Jesus Lenten Campaign – From Redeemed Online a series of videos bring the Lenten experience to all ages.
  • The Wild Goose – Introduces participants to the Holy Spirit – Available on FORMED
  • NOOMA Videos – A collection of videos by Evangelical pastor Rob Bell that uniquely convey Christian thought. Excellent for older teens through adults. All but one is compatible with Catholic theology and thought (the one on Sundays). Many available on Youtube or from their website.


  • Interlinc – A music streaming service featuring Christian music for meetings, gatherings, etc. Various subscription packages.

Books, Papers, etc.


  • Hallow – An app designed to help people build up a life of prayer. Some paid content. App helps users learn about Letcio Divina, listen to guided reflections, and experience the practice of the Examen. Get daily reminders to pray, document reflections, and see how many days in a row you can do with praying.
  • Pray – Sends reminders to help you pray a Novena (a prayer that you say each day for 9 days, usually leading up to a saint’s feast day).
  • iBreviary – The Church has a beautiful tradition of daily prayers called the Liturgy of the Hours. Morning, noon, evening, and night, Catholics from all over the world pray the same prayer. To stay on track, they use a book called a Breviary. It holds the collections of prayers. iBreviary is a pocket version of it. Actually, it’s like a Swiss Army Knife: it has the breviary, daily Mass readings, the Missal, prayers, and event rites for just about everything.


  • Pizza and Side Hugs – From our friends in the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana, Pizza and Side Hugs, is hosted by youth ministers and youth ministry volunteers. Since they are youth ministers, they understand the realities of youth ministry. Podcast topics range from keeping teens involved after Confirmation, fundraising, checking in with college students, working with parents and more.
  • The Electric Waffle – Not strictly a youth ministry podcast, the Electric Waffle is hosted by Katie Prejean (emcee at 2019’s NCYC) and her husband Tommy McGrady (youth minister). If you like the Catholic Church, talking deep about your faith, and the occasional Office reference, this podcast is for you.
  • CNA Newsroom – The podcast from the Catholic News Agency. CNA has great articles about what’s going on in our world and in our faith culture. The podcast adds to that experience by bringing in conversations and interviews. And the host, Editor in Chief, JD Flynn, is pretty funny.
  • Scripture and the Spiritual Life, by Sister AnnaMarie McGuan – Sister Anna Marie studied Theology and Sacred Scripture for 11 years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. As a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, Sister Anna Marie has been the director of Christian Formation for the Diocese of Knoxville since 2016. Sister Anna Marie has a passion for teaching Scripture. Her podcast is focused on diving deep into the sacred texts of Scripture and how it has meaning in our every day life. Also, she’s from Northwest Indiana and has a beautiful vocation story.
  • Jesuitical, from America MagazineJesuitical brings together Catholic life and pop culture and talks about it. Each episode they go through the days news, have an interview with a guest, and ends with the Jesuit practice of examining their consolations and desolations. They’ve interviewed guests like Sister Norma Pimentel, who helps refugees at the boarder, thinkers like Malcolm Gladwell, and actors like Mario Lopez. Not everyone they interview is Catholic, but the interviewers do approach their conversations with a Catholic lens.
  • Your Faith with Fr. Chris Stanish – Diocese of Gary’s Fr. Chris Stanish has a collection of recordings of his homiles and talks available as a podcast for you to listen to. Enjoy! Apple users, go here for Apple Podcast version to subscribe.
  • Catholic Creatives PodcastA podcast for creative people, the Catholic Creatives Podcast brings together Catholics who create Catholic art, music, or creative content. Each episode is a conversation with a different creative person who is using their faith to shape their art and vice versa. A few of my favorite guests include Erica Tighe, from the online store Be a HeartSarah Yaklic, from the Grotto Network, and Anna Carter from the Eden Invitation(“a movement celebrating personal integration and promoting solidarity beyond the LGBT+ paradigm,” working to help people recognize their initial calling as beloved sons and daughters of God).
  • Catholic Military Life: Ministering to Young Adults in the Military – The Archdiocese for Military Services Podcast (yes, there is an archdiocese for those in the military and yes, they have a young adult ministry director!) recently interviewed Casey Bustamante, USAFR, Associate Director for Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, to see how she approaches ministry to young adults who serve our country.

Consulting and Grants

  • – Funded through the Lilly Endowment, the Center for Congregations mission is to “strengthen Indiana congregations by helping them find and use the best resources to address their challenges and opportunities and to share what they learn with congregations nationwide.” An ecumenical organization, the Center provides resource consulting, educational events, and grants. Located in Crown Point. Free meeting room space available during the week. Online resource search engine For more information, contact McKenzie Scott Lewis

Summer Programs and Youth Conferences

For Youth

  • Catholic Heart WorkCamp: Catholic Heart Workcamp is a week long mission trip program, where teens and their chaperones travel to different areas throughout the country (and some international sites) and engage in service, community and prayer.
  • The Missionary Disciples Institute: Marian University, Indianapolis, IN: The Missionary Disciples Institute is a week long Catholic leadership program at Marian University. Young people will hear from nationally known speakers, meet other student leaders, have multiple opportunities for Mass and prayer, get college-preparatory type instruction from Marian faculty, and so much more! Youth leaders are encouraged to nominate a young person for MDI.
  • The Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute: Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, IN: The Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute is an exciting opportunity to come to a college campus, have seminar discussions guided by great faculty, and share community-building experiences with high school students from around the country. Their goal is to support the spiritual and intellectual growth of the next generation of leader. Teachers and youth ministers, there is also an opportunity for you to shadow the program and make your own personal retreat.
  • One Bread, One Cup: St. Meinrad, IN: One Bread, One Cup is a five-day liturgical leadership conference focusing on the Word, Sacrament and Mission of the Roman Catholic Church for high school youth groups and their campus and youth ministers. Conferences focus on community building, leadership development, catechesis, liturgical and spiritual formation, and theological reflection. High school youth participants must have completed 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. Youths must register through their parish and an adult chaperone is required to attend (you’ll get a lot of great formation as well).
  • Steubenville Youth Conferences: various dates and locations: Steubenville Youth Conferences bring together young people for three days of prayer, speakers, music, and fellowship. The goal of the conferences is to “evangelize youth with the gospel message of Jesus Christ and to deal with the many challenging aspects of their lives according to the teachings of Holy Scripture and Church Tradition.”

For Young Adults

  • Given Forum, Washington DC: Hosted by the Given Institute, the Given Forum is an annual event that brings together Catholic, young adult women from across the country. There, they spend five days receiving leadership training, faith formation, and individual support as they pursue their particular mission and/or vocation. At the Forum, young women will listen to talks by lay and religious female Catholic leaders, receive professional leadership training, reflect on their particular gifts and strengths, network with peers and leading Catholic women, participate in opportunities for prayer, the sacraments, and spiritual direction, receive support and guidance to implement a post-forum Action Plan, as well as opportunities for mentoring through the GIVEN network. The deadline to apply is February 3, 2020.
  • FOCUS Conferences: Since FOCUS’ inception (Fellowship Of Catholic University Students), their national conferences and events have given students from all over the country the chance to come together by the thousands to learn about the Catholic faith, to experience genuine fellowship and to unite as members of the Body of Christ. Joined by chaplains and religious, Catholic speakers, inspiring artists and benefactors, these students become a visible, living witness to the Catholic faith for the next generation in whatever city they gather.
  • VERSO Ministries: Verso Ministries specializes in creating and hosting pilgrimages so people can connect with the sacred by visiting holy places and contemplating how we see God along our journeys. They have many upcoming pilgrimages this year, including a pilgrimage to Ireland with young adults from the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend.