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Parish As Advocate

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Parish as Advocate

Last Revised on February 19, 2012

Youth Ministry is often the conversion moment for young people. Participation in retreats, service projects, extended trips, and regular youth ministry gatherings can spark desire for deeper understanding and catechesis. Therefore, youth ministry must be able to form young people beyond the four to six years that young people are involved in formal ministry experiences.

Advocacy is the interpreting the needs of youth and their families, especially the social problems facing them, and acting with or on behalf of youth and their families for a change in the systems (policies, procedures, programs) which create or contribute to the social problems; giving young people a voice and empowering them to address the social problems that they face.

In Comprehensive Youth Ministry, it isn't enough to identify the needs of young people we must create an environment where relationships exist that meet those needs. A parish that advocates for its young people establishes a team of leaders that oversee this relationship. Coordinators of Youth Ministry who advocate for youth ministry help to create a parish that is youth friendly, not youth tolerant. Young people who are taught to advocate for themselves do so because they feel welcomed into the life, mission and ministry of the parish community.

All members of the parish community are, by their baptismal call, youth ministers. That is, all share in the responsibility for building our relationship with the young people of the parish. In each parish, however, there should be one person who is the animator or coordinator of the parish’s response to the needs of the young people.

Primary Contact for Youth Ministry

The Primary Contact for Youth Ministry may be a full time or part time Coordinator of Youth Ministry (CYM). He/she may be paid or a volunteer. The pastor may not serve as the Primary Contact or as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry.

Related Policies:

Every parish is encouraged to conduct an assessment of the needs and interests of the parish community at least once every four years. 452