Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Youth & Young Adult Ministry

  • Supports youth and young adult ministry in parishes and vicariates through networking with leadership, providing communication and resources.
  • Supports ministry to specialized groups that provide services within the diocese.
  • Provides training and formation for Adult and Young Adult leaders.
  • Sponsors Youth Days, Events and Retreats.
  • Offers Retreats for Youth Ministers

Links

Documents

Contact

Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator / Coordinadora de jovenes y jovenes adultos  Katrina D. Flores


Bilingual Secretary  María Elena Guerrero

News

Youth Day 2018

October 8, 2018

Youth from across the Diocese of Fresno gathered in Merced and Fresno this weekend for Youth Day 2018. Approximately 500 attended at St. Patrick Church on Saturday October 6 in Merced and 700 gathered at St. Francis of Assisi in Bakersfield.

submitted by Katrina Flores, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator

Friday October 5th – Young Adult Praise and Worship – St. Paul
Catholic Newman Center, Fresno.

Our diocesan Youth Day Weekend kicked off with a positive message
and Eucharistic Adoration for young adults at the St. Paul Catholic Newman
Center Parish in Fresno. Our speaker, Steve Do, shared his experience in
surrendering his will to God and how we as young adults can do the same.
ALOB led us in some amazing worship and we closed the night with some
Jesus time with a special message from Rev. Emmanuel Ogonnaya. There
were young adults present from Ridgecrest, Tulare, Livingston, and all
around the Fresno area. We hope to continue the tradition next year and see
more young adults from around the diocese come together for a positive
message, fellowship, and worship.

Saturday, October 6th – Youth Day North at St. Patrick’s in Merced.

About 500 youth from around the diocese attended Youth Day North. 50
young people from St. Patrick’s made up the Youth Day Leadership Team.
The young people kicked off the day with Eucharistic Adoration where
many students lined up for the Sacrament of Reconciliation with Rev.
John Fluetsch and Rev. Msgr. Harvey Fonseca. Most Rev. Armando Ochoa
spent time throughout the day greeting the young people and listening to
speakers. The theme for the weekend was “So Will I” and the young
people were challenged to live their faith proudly and that their unique
talents and gifts are needed as the body of Christ. When asked to stand in
solidarity as the body of Christ, all the young people stood and affirmed
“So Will I”.

Sunday, October 7th – Youth Day South at Garces Memorial High
School.

The spirit carried the adult leadership through the weekend. Many of
which devoted their time as the committee and volunteers for the entire
weekend. Garces Memorial High Gym, like St. Patrick’s, was filled with
young people from all walks of life and their walk with God ranging from
non-existent to total consecration to the life of faith. It can be challenging
to speak to such a diverse group, but the Holy Spirit triumphed and there
is no doubt that they came away moved by the spirit. Rev. John Shearer,
OSJ, provided an opportunity of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and
Rev. Stephen Spencer, OSJ, helped lead us in some time of Eucharistic
Adoration. Most Rev. Armando Ochoa celebrated Mass with the young
people and reflected on the Sacrament of Marriage and how this reflects
Christ’s love for the Church.


Acompañando a los Jóvenes

April 1, 2018

¿Qué significa eso? Muchos de nuestros jóvenes están dejando la Iglesia, la religión organizada por completo y me duele el corazón. ¿Cuántos de nosotros catequistas o líderes juveniles tenemos miembros de nuestras propias familias que se han alejado de la Iglesia? De los cuatro hermanos con quienes crecí, soy la única Católica practicante. No digo eso para alardear de mi santidad (porque seamos honestos, yo lucho) o avergonzar a mis padres quienes hicieron todo lo que pudieron para mantenernos a todos nosotros, sus hijos, conectados a nuestra fe. Digo esto para mostrar un ejemplo de lo que está pasando incluso en las familias Católicas más activas.

He hablado con ellos a lo largo de los años sobre lo que los condujo a su desconexión con la fe Católica y sus historias se alinean con muchos de los ejemplos de los jóvenes a través de los Estados Unidos. De acuerdo con un estudio “Se va, Se va, Se fue: Las Dinámicas de desafiliación en los jóvenes Católicos” por la Editorial Santa Maria en colaboración con CARA (Centro para la Investigación Aplicada en el Apostolado), mis hermanos caen en una de tres categorías: Vagabundos, Heridos, y Disidentes. Para mayor información sobre este estudio ir a: http://catholicresearch.smp.org/ Sin embargo, hoy me enfocaré en como el acompañamiento es importante como una implicación pastoral en identificar los desafíos dentro de nuestros propios ministerios y cómo podemos acompañar a nuestros jóvenes hoy en día.

El acompañamiento empieza estando presente y escuchando. Preguntar para comprender y no
corregir es muy importante para la gente joven. Ellos pueden tener un desacuerdo con una
enseñanza de la Iglesia. Escuchar su ambivalencia y no tener miedo de compartir tus propias
luchas. Luchar para entender y aceptar algo que es parte de las enseñanzas de la Iglesia es parte del proceso de crecimiento de fe. Es normal luchar con la fe y las preguntas de la vida, pero ¿nuestra gente joven sabe eso? ¿Saben que está bien preguntar? ¿Está bien hacer preguntas sin sentirse que ellos son menos “santos” de alguna manera? Está bien no saber las respuestas y solo sentarse frente al Santísimo Sacramento juntos y ponerlo en las manos de Dios. Por último, las enseñanzas de la Iglesia no cambian, pero nuestro entendimiento de ello cambia mientras luchamos con ello.

La forma en que respondemos a la expresión de la lucha de fe de los jóvenes es tan crucial como discernir el llamado del Espíritu Santo para encontrar a los jóvenes exactamente donde ellos están. No hay suficientes horas en el día o en una reunión juvenil para nosotros hacer todo. Por ejemplo, compartir la fe, proveer formación para sus vidas, ayudar a nuestros jóvenes a desarrollar una relación más profunda con Cristo, y honrar todas las preguntas que están flotando en sus mentes y corazón. Pero podemos estar presentes y conectar con un joven a la vez y tratar realmente de ver el mundo a través de sus ojos. Algunas veces pasa naturalmente durante la reunión. En ocasiones toma lugar en un momento incomodo desilencio entre actividades o al inicio o final de nuestra reunión. Ora por esos momentosdonde el espíritu está tirando de tu corazón para hablar con un joven. Algunas veces toma un año completo de saludos o preguntar sobre sus días para generar confianza y acompañar a un joven quien está pasando la mayor parte de su vida sin una religión organizada y esta espiritualmente cerrado. Trata de ver el mundo a través de sus ojos y caminar con ellos. Se Cristo para ellos.

Katrina Flores


Accompanying Young People

What does that even mean? So many of our young people are leaving the Church, leaving organized religion altogether and my heart hurts. How many of us catechists or youth leaders have members of our own families that have walked away from the Church? Of the four siblings with whom I was raised, I’m the only one who is a practicing Catholic. I don’t say that to brag about my holiness (because let’s be honest, I struggle) or shame my parents who did everything they could to keep all of us, their children,
connected to our faith. I say this to show an example of what is happening in even the most active Catholic families.

I’ve talked with them over the years about what   led to their disconnectedness with the Catholic faith and their stories align with many of the examples of young people across the United States.
According to a study “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics” by Saint Mary’s Press in collaboration with CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), my siblings fall into one of more of three categories: Drifters, Injured, and Dissenters. For more information about this study go to: http://catholicresearch.smp.org/. However, today I will focus on how accompaniment is important as a pastoral implication in identifying the challenges within our own ministries and how we
can accompany our young people today. Accompanying starts with being present and listening. Asking to understand and not to correct is so important for young people. They may have a disagreement with a teaching of the Church. Listen to their ambivalence and don’t be afraid to share your own struggles.  struggling to understand and accept something that is part of Church teaching is a part of the growth process of faith. Struggling with faith and life questions is normal, but do our young people know that? Do they know it’s okay to question? It’s okay to ask questions without feeling like they are less “holy” somehow. It’s okay to not know the answers and to just sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament together and place it in God’s hands. Ultimately, the Church’s teaching doesn’t change, but our understanding of it changes as we struggle with it.

How we respond to young people’s expression of the faith struggle is as crucial as discerning the Holy Spirit’s call to encounter the young person exactly where they are. There are not enough hours in the day or in a youth gathering for us to do everything i.e. share the faith, provide formation for their lives, help our young people develop a deeper relationship with Christ, and honor all the questions that are floating through their minds and heart. But we can be present and connect one young person at a time and really try to see the world through their eyes. Sometimes it happens naturally during the gathering. Sometimes it takes place in the small awkward moments of silence in between activities or in the beginning or the end of the gathering. Pray for those moments where the Spirit is tugging at your heart to check in with a young person. Sometimes it takes an entire year of greeting or asking about their day to build trust and accompany a young person who’s spent most of their life without organized religion and are spiritually closed off. Try to see the world through their eyes and walk with them. Be Christ to them.

Katrina Flores