When Tragedy Strikes
So many things in our world seem violent. Ferguson. New York. Protests. Beheadings. Shootings. Recently, Newsweek magazine called the city of Wilmington, "Murder Capital, USA" because of the rising number of shootings.
At some point during this season of love, hope, and kindness, all of us involved in our various ministries will come into contact with young people. Some will want to talk. Some will need to talk. Some will want to pray and some will seek ways to understanding the unimaginable.
But perhaps we can begin by helping the young people with whom we minister learn by the example we set, even as we pray for those whose children and fathers and mothers will not be coming home this evening.
New! "After Ferguson, Learning to Listen" in America Magazine.
Perhaps the songs of this holy season will take root in our hearts and minds and we might sing together, “Let there be peace on earth…and let it begin with me.”
- CYM Staff
Parishes and schools are encouraged to have young people carry the cross into parish or school liturgies as a witness to our responsibility to share this symbol of Christ’s love. You may also wish to have the cross present during retreats as a part of prayer space, to use it as part of a prepared prayer service, or to be creative and think of your own ways to utilize the cross in your ministry. Remember that it is a diocesan cross, so in time, thousands of young people will have carried it, prayed before it, and been inspired by it.
Use the Hosting the Cross resource to plan your experience with the cross and to answer any questions you might have. Use the Resource Packet for suggested prayers and activities.
Please use the appropriate forms as needed. Please note that some forms have been updated for 2014-2015 and we have linked directly to the CDOW FSGC page for you to see them.
In times of grief or crisis, most of us find consolation in doing some activity, something that ritualizes our feelings of sadness. The Pastoral Cross can be a powerful tool to help young people cope. It can help them focus on their loss and/or the disruption in their lives. Of course, the act of placing one’s prayers and notes in this beautifully crafted symbol of the Resurrection is a humbling reminder that Jesus is our source for all our healing and hope.
Use of the Pastoral Cross is reserved for the death of a young person or the death of adult who plays a significant role in the lives of young people. The Pastoral Cross is not intended for use to commemorate the anniversary of death, be used during an extended illness of a young person, or to hold vigil when someone is injured (even seriously). Put more simply, the Diocesan Pastoral Cross is reserved for use in a faith community for those sad times when a young person or adult who is active in that community can no longer be physically present. They are rare exceptions.
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to tease, humiliate, threaten and/or harass someone. It can take place through text messaging or social media. Cyberbullies might send mean comments, post embarrassing photos, or share private information about someone to humiliate or mock them online. Even if your child isn’t being cyberbullied, remind them that it is everyone’s job to prevent bullying and encourage them to take a stand.
As we enter into the season of Advent, it is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of Christmas preparations, whether shopping, baking, party planning or somewhere in between. We know that Advent is a season of conversion for the heart. Let’s spend more time this season praying and preparing our hearts for Christ’s coming.
Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
The Gift of Hope Tree invites young people and families to reflect on how Christ was born into poverty, and how this relates to the reality of many other families around the world today. The Gift of Hope Tree alternative giving activity helps families consider what gifts the Holy Family might have needed and how those gifts compare to what people who live in poverty might need. Participants will assemble Gift of Hope Tree ornaments, which feature donations in the form of gifts, allowing CRS to provide for people around the world. Find additional resources from CRS to help families, and parishes prepare for the birth of Jesus.
During the four weeks of Advent, we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth through prayer and reflection. We contemplate the first coming of Jesus as Savior and anticipate his promised second coming. The Ignatian Spirituality website provides resources for Advent including prayer exercises, video reflections, Advent examen, podcasts, Advent calendar, and much more.
Have you ever been over at a good friend’s house for supper, someone that you really enjoy being with, and when you finish eating, you want to spend more time with that friend, so you talked in the living room, or went outside on the porch? Eating a meal with your friend was satisfying, but you still wanted to relax and just hang around for just a little while longer.
Well, since the Mass is the source and summit of our Christian life, it means a lot to us; it is a holy meal where we partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus. But like any friend, we need some extra time together to develop our friendship with Jesus even more. We can do this with Jesus in our adoration of Him before the tabernacle or by worshiping Jesus exposed in the monstrance for adoration.
So be a good friend to Jesus, and stick around a while longer.
Join in the Catholic Parent Revival and be treated to a day of inspiring speakers, moving music, and meaningful prayer meant to breath new life into the vocation of parenthood. On Saturday, December 6, parents, grandparents, and guardians from across the country will join together, onsite and online, to revive faith, increase motivation, and enjoy support for growing in faith in families. For more information and to register to attend or host a live stream gathering, visit www.catholicparentrevival.org.
In the Catholic tradition, the family holds a special place - especially in the formation of faith. So important, in fact, that it is called "the domestic church." This video invites parents to reflect on being the church in the world and what that might look like within their family. Use the reflection questions at the end with a group of parents to share and discuss. This video is funded by the ACTA Foundation and is part of the Strong Catholic Family National Initiative (www.strongcatholicfamilies.org).
Being good stewards of all that we have received from the Lord—individual gifts and talents as well as the earth and its resources—is a fundamental Catholic value. As a Catholic community, we have been challenged by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to embrace three core principles: prudence, poverty, and the common good in relationship to the ongoing concern of climate change. This resource challenges young people and adults alike to connect their actions to the well being of others, especially the poor.
This planning guide provides tools for teaching the young church that care for creation is also care for the poor. The guide provides a practical small-group planning and training process resulting in a parish/school-wide learning experience that focuses on climate change and the role of Catholics to care for all of creation. Purchase the book through the NFCYM online store.
By connecting with dioceses and Catholic youth and young adult ministry organizations across the United States, the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) offers a network of resources and information that can foster growth in the Church's outreach and ministry with youth and young adults.
CRS University connects college and university communities to the work and mission of CRS around the world, which is to promote human development and global solidarity. Some of the main areas in which CRS works are: emergency response, hunger and agriculture, global health, water, human trafficking, migration, HIV and AIDS, and education
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through its National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage, has worked to explain church teaching on divorce in the hope of correcting misunderstandings and keeping people connected with the church. Read a recent article posted by Catholic News Service. Find more information online visit foryourmarriage.com.
In this recently translated book, Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, suggests that since the Internet has changed, and is changing, the ways in which we think and act, it must also be changing the ways in which we think Christianity and its theology. To develop this theme, he uses the term “Cybertheology.” Father Spadaro, the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, is known for interviewing Pope Francis. Learn more, or buy a copy of the book at Amazon.com.
New this fall, sign up to receive CYM's tips to Take the Readings and Bring It Home, emphasizing the parents' role as the "first teachers" in a child's life. Tips are liturgically oriented and respond to each week's readings. They are a great and simple way to incorporate what your family has learned in church into your everday life.
From the Dioceses of Jefferson City, San Jose, and St. Petersburg comes Strong Catholic Family, faith, which posts resources, news, and opportunities for sharing your Catholic faith with your family.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has just published a great resource, including a guide and a downloadable PDF, on transforming scouting into youth ministry. You can view the guide here and download the printable PDF here.
Actively serving the Church can sometimes fall into the category of being a "Little Old Church Lady" So how does a young person begin or continue to participate and serve the Church without becoming or being seen as a "Little Old Church Lady?" Explore this article in which Busted Halo answers this question.
Read the article here.
90-minute lesson plan designed to teach media literacy to high school and middle school students, grounded in the Church's wisdom on media.
Teens will watch clips from popular films and discuss what messages or world views are coming through, and whether they are positive or negative. The free resource includes everything youth ministers need including the movie clips, icebreakers, discussion questions, etc.
The Catechatical Lesson Plan can be found here.
Going to camp? A concert? A mission trip? Sometimes youth ministry events involve long car rides. Click below to see some of our favorite games for passing the time.
The Jesuit Post: #Faith #God # Frontiers #Culture #Mystery #Love is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book. The book includes twenty never before published essays by The Jesuit Post website contributors along with a few of the best posts from the past few years. Check out the table of contents and ways to order online.
Click the link below for the 2014 schedule of events and program guide.
Spirit on the Shore seeks to enliven the relationships between young adults in their 20s and 30s and Jesus Christ and His Church through faithful discipleship. We grow together as a part of the Body of Christ through spiritual, social, and service activities so that we may better participate in the mission of the local church here on the Eastern Shore and have fun along the way.
The first Saturday of every month we participate in the 5:00 pm Vigil Mass at St. John Neumann (Berlin, MD). Then we go to a local restaurant to share a meal and conversation.
Every third Sunday at 1:00 pm we gather in the church library for lively faith-related discussions.
Campus ministry offers a variety of programming for undergrads and graduate students. For more information, visit the St. Thomas More Oratory website.
SMYPP encourages the social, spiritual, and intellectual formation of single and married young adults. We share dinner, listen to a guest speaker, and enjoy lively discussion. We also offer service opportunities. We are open to people of all faiths ages 21 or older. Please join us!
For more information, email Jeff Hyde.
Recent winners of a Telly award for their movie, Palm Sunday, NFCYM collaborating members Spirit Juice Studios and outside da box offer many videos for youth ministry, many of which may be used as prayer resources. Visit their websites to find free and paid resources.
Any Given Sunday endeavors to bring the richness and beauty of the weekly Sunday readings alive for the young church. Reflections are written by some of the best-known Catholic youth speakers, musicians and comedians in the country.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a celebration of the merciful love of God. Through the gift of this sacrament, we are brought back together with the Father (reconciled) through the saving action of Jesus Christ, His Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This gift, given to the Church by Jesus himself on the evening of the Resurrection (see John 20:21-23), brings the sinner into the embrace of the Father, Who seeks us out and forgives. No one is beyond that embrace; no one is too far gone. Now, we who approach this sacrament with faith in God’s love and mercy and an honest awareness of our sins, with a sincere heart to try and live better, experience the depth of God’s love.
This guide can help you and your teens make the most of this powerful experience of God.
It is crucial to acknowledge that every death brings with it our own personal grief – from the very first death we experienced, even that of our family pet, to the death of a sibling, parent, grandparent, or close friend. However, there are some who have traveled the course of life with minimal personal encounters with death.
This resource will help you understand more about what teenagers might be feeling when faced with a loss.
The Official Youth Basketball Website of USA Basketball is sponsored by NCAA and NBA and provides community youth basketball programs training tools and articles that will assist players, coaches and parents.
Concussions seem to be on the rise in youth sports. To help parents be prepared, CYM offers tips on symptoms and treatments.
This prayer, written by CYM staff and promulgated by the late Bishop Saltarelli, should be prayed by coaches, parents, and young people before games and practices.
Playing sports this year? Try some of these tactics off the court to make for a better experience on the court.
National CYO Sports animates Gospel values in Catholic youth sports to encourage young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. National CYO Sports, a service of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, educates leaders about opportunities in sports for evangelization, catechesis, and growth in their knowledge of intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Please use these forms to ensure a safe environment, as required by FSGC guidelines.
Please use the following forms when planning youth ministry events. If there is a form not listed here that should be, please email CYM.
The complete document - all ten sections - of Empowering Disciples: A Work in Progress is now online. This wiki site is itself a work in progress and plans are underway to make the document more in keeping with this new site. In the meantime, you can find the policies and guidelines for ministry, FSGC commentary, and an explanation of forms used in ministry.
The sections are down one side and the sub-sections are listed alphabetically, the only way wikispaces will let you create a table of contents. Its not perfect, but its updated and its online. Policies, as always, are in red.
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth. Through partnership with more than 1,100 youth sports organizations, leagues, schools and cities nationwide, PCA has conducted 6,000-plus workshops for youth sports coaches, parents, organizational leaders and athletes.
This powerful resource, published by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, provides prayer service suggestions, Scripture readings, and songs to be used when helping young people deal with the death of one of their peers.
A helpful tool when using the Pastoral Cross in your parish or school.
Every young person grieves in his or her own way. This resource gives you what the experts have discovered about the way young people grieve, broken down by ages and stages of development.
A useful tool as you prepare to help your young people deal with loss.
Between suicide, homicide, deaths as a result of military conflict, and even car accidents, young people can sometimes find themselves facing complicated grief.
These resources include commentary on these areas as well as tips on what you can say, what you should avoid saying, and how to get professional help when necessary.
This website reports the current headlines of the day and helps relate it to Gospel readings and how we can improve our faith in our everyday lives.
Catholic Youth Foundation USA (CYFUSA) is building a faithful future by financially supporting the Catholic Church's pastoral ministry to, with, by, and for young people. CYFUSA partners with the Catholic faith community to underwrite resources for youth leadership development, adult ministry formation, creative programs in catechesis, service and pastoral care, and development of youth ministry programs for culturally diverse communities.
A diocesan website that contains information for young people who are interested in vocational studies, religious life and/or seminaries.
The official website of the Holy See, the episcopal jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.
The mission of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is to support the ministry of bishops with an emphasis on evangelization, by which the bishops exercise in a communal and collegial manner certain pastoral functions entrusted to them by the Lord Jesus of sanctifying, teaching, and governing.
Girl Scouts invites young ladies to join in one of the many opportunities they provide. There are also several ways adults can be involved. To locate the counsel closest to you or for more information, please contact Joan Przywara, Chair of the Girl Scouts Committee for the Diocese of Wilmington.
The Diocese of Wilmington is pleased to offer this slate of Religious Awards to Girl Scouts. The awards are designed to advance girls in their religious knowledge and to foster spirtiual growth. A registered Girl Scout who is a practicing Catholic and who attends a Catholic School, PREP, or other regular religious instruction program is eligible to participate in the awards program. For more information, please contact Joan Przywara.
This website provides resources and support for all aspects of Catholic Scouting. There is something for everyone - from parents to pastors; from Tigers to Eagles, from Den Leaders to Diocesan Committees. Site content is updated regularly.
The Diocese of Wilmington, in cooperation with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, offers a wide variety of religious awards. Designed for all age groups, from 6 to 18 years, these programs provide an excellent opportunity for youth to grow in the knowledge of their faith. After working with a counselor or leader for several months, young Scouts are awarded a medal in either their parish or at a diocesan-wide celebration. To get started, Scouts should obtain an emblem booklet which describes the requirements.
The Diocese of Wilmington has a rich tradition of involving young people in scouting programs and now is a great time to get involved!
Boy Scouts invites young men between the ages of 7 and 20 to join in one of the Scouting programs. If you're a parent, you might be interested in being selected a Scout leader. Scouting offers a time-tested set of activities that have produced fine citizens, strong family members, and community leaders for more than 90 years. For more information, email Steve Williams, Chair of the Boy Scouts Committee for the Diocese of Wilmington.
This document contains information on how to manage rashes and skin lesions in sporting events in the diocese.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over four million youth members in its age-related divisions. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.
Access a great list of background information and resources regarding the foundations of ministry to and with young adults.
Find out more about the "best kept secret of the Catholic faith"...Catholic Social Teaching, and the Church's active part in spreading the gospel and proclaiming justice in the world.
This link sends you to different publications on young adult ministry from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
1st State Sports Club is another league similar to Delaware Sports League for young adults in Delaware.
The official site for the NFCYM, which serves those who serve the young Catholic Church.