Steubenville Conference 2014

Hello all!  Planning is underway for the annual Steubenville Conference Trip!  There are still a few seats open.  Anyone interested in attending the trip please contact the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at 814-512-3112.  Seats will be on a first-come, first-serve basis for a non-refundable $50 deposit.

Follow the link below to view this years theme for the conference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tH133DCIr0

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Thank You!

Hello everyone!

Serving you as youth minister has been an amazing experience. I am very thankful to God for making it happen and for producing such good fruit during my time here in St. Marys. Very recently, I have been invited to a special new opportunity to concentrate my career more fully on technology, and after much prayer and discernment, I have accepted that opportunity. It is bittersweet because it means I will be moving to a new city and therefore leaving many familiar and friendly faces here in St. Marys. I absolutely love being here in St. Marys, and I think the kids of St. Marys are the best you can find anywhere. You guys are awesome. I am thankful to God for the experience of my time here, praying with you, teaching classes, hanging out at youth events, and working with so many amazing volunteers.

St. Marys has a bright future ahead, and I am confident that the teams we have built will carry on what we already have in progress. I am sure new Youth Ministry leadership will be found and lead you to the brightest days yet!

St. Marys Youth Ministry News Shared With Elk County Family Resource Network

What an incredible honor it was to speak to the Family Resource Network of Elk County at the Ridgeway Courthouse Annex on February 26, 2013. The topic of the presentation was the work of the Interparish Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. This Elk County Family Resource Network is a powerhouse gathering of distinguished professionals throughout the Elk County Region for the purpose of networking and sharing information. The representatives of the various organizations can all support one another through this networking. It is a powerful resource which supports many worthy projects in our community. As a voting member on this council, it was a sincere pleasure to share news of ministry efforts and outreaches right here in St. Marys. A video of the presentation appears above. Thanks again to the Elk County Family Resource Network for their amazing work.

New iCafe Sign!!

new-icafe-sign

Kids and adults from iCafe celebrate the new iCafe sign donated by local parishioners. We are so grateful for this amazing new sign. It will surely serve as a welcoming beacon to local teens. Our youth ministry efforts are ready to welcome all youth. Pictured are some local iCafe students who enjoy hanging out at iCafe as well as Fuzzy Cappiella, Bonnie Pearson, Brother Michael and yours truly! God is so good to us. We are grateful for the positive fellowship, laughter, fun, and prayer which takes place at iCafe.

• TEENS: You are invited to iCafe! It’s fun.

• ADULTS: Tell a high school or middle school student about iCafe – and consider becoming an adult who volunteers to be at iCafe. It’s a great experience.

Thank You Fr. Thomas More for Blessing Chapel, iCafe, and Recreation Room

fr-thomas-icafe

On Wednesday evening, Fr. Thomas More visited iCafe and brought with him the grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Father was warmly welcomed by the youth who appreciated his peaceful demeanor and exuberant articulation of Catholic practices which Fr. Thomas More expertly crafted into language the teens could relate to. He explained to the youth that we are used to seeing holy things at Mass, but as Catholics we also have the tradition of bringing those holy things into our homes and community spaces. Father went on to illustrate the ways in which the Catholic faith is Incarnational, which is to say that in our Catholic prayer and worship, we involve the eyes with beautiful things to look at, the ears with holy music to listen to, our sense of touch with water and oil, even our sense of smell by using incense which rises to heaven like our prayers. Our Catholic faith affirms the goodness of creation and the goodness of existing not only in soul, but in bodily form with eyes, ears, noses, and so on.

thurible

Thurible

Speaking of incense, in addition to sprinkling holy water throughout the complex, Fr. Thomas More walked through the rooms and the hallway with a thurible full of smokey incense. He was assisted by one of the students who had become the designated thurifer (a thurifer typically being an acolyte who assists in carrying the incense when the priest is not doing so.) The blessing and prayers administered by father simultaneously served to invoke and invite the presence and grace of the Lord into the place while also driving out evil and expelling all that is not of the Lord.

farkleAfter this blessing, Fr. Thomas More joined everyone at table as the youth munched down two large ‘Don’s Big Boys’ pizzas. Youth ministry parishioners Mike and Jen Gelsick introduced father to the incredibly fun Farkle dice game while father conversed with them and the youth about topics ranging from the names of garments worn by priests to what was on offer in the latest video games. As for video games, the youth were very excited to play NHL 2014 on the XBox which was newly released this week. Mr. Gelsick even hopped into the game play and managed to hold his own among the highly skilled youth. One of the students also brought her clarinet to play some music while everyone ate.

With the night almost over, some of the youth moved to the pool tables where the topic of discussion turned to the current school year and how they were progressing. We were certainly blessed with Fr. Thomas More’ presence at the youth social. His presence was not only a friendly and joyful presence, but in particular, it was a priestly presence. This priestly presence (for lack of a better term) is a unique type of presence which never fails to bring about a certain sense of merriment and peace wherever it is found.