Well this is THE weekend! It is the start of our annual Forty Hours Devotions and our big announcement weekend! Did you notice the flags coming onto the property? The festive balloons in the narthex? The information table in front of the statue of Saint Eleanor?
One of the messages shared with me over the last few years was a need for full time youth ministry. There have been two small efforts valiantly led for several years here. One has been for high school age students on Sunday evenings monthly and the other our G.I.F.T. program.
We are a large parish family. We have more than 1700 students in grades 7 through 12 registered in the parish. Taking seriously the needs I have heard, my own observations, the focus and work we are doing to be more intentionally disciples of Jesus, praying about and for our amazing parish, we have taken steps to make Youth Ministry a major priority at Saint Eleanor Parish.
While we are also embarking on a number of programs to assist our adults to be more passionate disciples, such as Walking With Purpose and ChristLife, we now intentionally turn our attention to our youth. We want them to have the help and experiences that will allow them to be passionate disciples, on fire with the Holy Spirit, sharers of Gospel joy and fully participating members of our amazing parish family.
The original thought was to hire a Youth Minister. In the process of interviewing, the team assisting me came to the conclusion that we needed a team. And so, I am enthusiastic and excited to announce that we now have on staff TWO Youth Ministers who will work full time with our youth. They are: Matt Kirsch and Alex Price.
Many of you know Matt. He has been on staff here in a few different capacities, including the G.I.F.T. program. He has a degree and background in youth ministry and has been involved in this ministry in other parishes. Alex is a recent graduate of Franciscan University, Steubenville. He majored in Theology and Philosophy and participated in Evangelization Ministries while there. He is from Slidell, Louisiana and has relocated to Collegeville.
We feel very blessed with these two young men joining our parish family in this ministerial role. They are at Church this weekend at all the Masses and you will be seeing them around quite a bit. Be sure to go up and speak with them.
My friends, this is a large undertaking on the part of our parish family. And we pray for God’s abundant blessings and the full participation of our parish family. Our youth ministry is open to all our youth in grades 7 through 12. May we, each and every one of us, grow to be more passionate disciples, helping each other, both young and old, to be disciples and making disciples of all we meet.