Recently, I was asked to prepare a brief report about what we do in our office to be shared with our Archbishop. After completing it, I was full of pride of the accomplishments of our office staff and decided to just share it with you as well.
Gather, Celebrate and Train with Young People: The highlight of our year is the Annual Youth and Young Adult Pilgrimage through the streets of Baltimore on Palm Saturday. Annually, we travel with the youngchurch to the March for Life as well as to annual fall conference, either our own Baltimore Youth Catholic Conference or the National Catholic Youth Conference. We have previously sent delegations to World Youth Day and anticipate a domestic celebration this summer. We provide a weekend leadership training, Cornerstone, as well as a social justice training, Micah 6:8, which both have complimentary summer programming, the High-School Leadership Institute, and Justice Action Week (JAW) and have begun collaboration with the Vocations Office on the Qou Vadis Vocations Camp.
Forge Partnerships and Develop Many Collaborations in Service to the YoungChurch: Each of the above activities are primarily planned by committees comprised of parish youth ministry contacts, school campus ministers, and others. We work in collaboration with the Association of Professional Youth Ministers and the Archdiocesan Youth Advisory Council as well as a Youth Ministry Council. Our staff is represented on the Msgr. O’Dwyer Youth Retreat House Board of Directors, African-American Ministries’ Harambee and Hispanic Ministries’ Agentees. We serve and provide resources for those within Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and our CYO leagues.
Provide Resources and Training for Adult Leaders: We gather for a Youth Contact Meeting each fall, collaborate in the Professional Ministers Orientation, and are in our second year of gathering for John Bosco Day, on the saint’s feast day. We often provide much of the content from these gatherings on-line afterwards as a follow-up to these trainings, announcing them via our e-newsletter and though social networking. We have developed classes and have taught within the Equip process. We have supported participation in the Mid-Atlantic Congress and the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry. We have developed additional trainings and have recently begun developing Webinars. We have provided resources such as the Created to Love human sexuality / child protection training and respond to immediate catechetical moments, such as the Newtown shootings.
Empowering Young Adults for Inclusion in Our Church: We work in collaboration with a Young Adult Council and a Hispanic Young Adult Council. Our staff is represented on the Archdiocesan College and University Campus Ministry Council. We have used an e-newsletter to support our programming as well as that which local setting and have developed a facebook page for Catholic Young Adults in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that has over 500 “friends.” We have been in a search process since summer, 2013 to replace our position of Coordinator for Young Adult Ministry & Hispanic Youth Ministry.