This summer, one of the coolest bands around was Rend Collective Experiment. From Camp Gray to Love Begins Here, teens sang along and fell for this band encouraging them to build the kingdom here. A number of the lyrics in the song Movements really seem to capture what we are seeing as a growing trend in the Diocese: more teens are devotedly, passionately loving the Lord and their Catholic faith.
I’m running fast and free to You
You are the movement and fight in me
I’m Running fast and free to You
You are my home
Where I wanna be
We know the sad, alarming statistics about our young adult faithful, most of all knowing that only about 10% of Catholic college students are attending Mass on a regular basis. However, those young people who are living out their faith, fighting for what they believe and choosing to live God are a real source of hope.
As our teens grow and transition into adulthood, they are faced with choices about what their futures hold, especially in regards to how they are going to live their Catholic identity. We do not have any magic recipes for how this is going to happen, though we do know the ingredients: giving our teens an opportunity to encounter Jesus in a life changing way, providing engaging Catechesis, allowing them to experience community life and helping them develop a life of prayer.
To help the priests of our Diocese understand just powerful these apostolates can be for our youth and their power to transform lives, we produced the following video to share with them at the annual priest assembly.
Enjoy. Share. Watch it again.
Let’s help our youth run fast and free to the Lord!
Today’s Wanderer Wednesday post will be a brief one. We just wanted you to officially confirm that Instagram is all the rage, in case you weren’t aware. While you’ll need a smart phone or iDevice of some kind to make use of it, getting on board is not a bad idea! When polled this summer on Love Begins Here mission trips, our Middle School youth told us (resoundingly) that they use Instagram more than facebook and twitter combined.
To help orient you to the coolest Catholic Instagram accounts in the Diocese, the following is a little guide.
Go ahead and like all of these accounts, mention us in your posts and tag us in your photos. There’s hardly a better way to evangelize through beauty during this Year of Faith. (If you don’t have access to one of these devices to Instagram on your own, you can view the feeds of these four accounts by visiting http://www.instagram.com/insertthenamehere. For example: www.instagram.com/madisondiocese.)
Word to the wise: please use the pre-made Instagram filters sparingly. Natural and unedited is always best. If you feel the need to edit, do so first in an app of your choice. For those in the iDevice world, we would suggest PicTapGo and Afterlight for your editing needs, A Beautiful Mess for adding text and Diptic for making quick photo collages!
Over the next few months, Youth Ministers, DREs and other interested adults are reading through the book Forming Intentional Disciples together. While we are doing so, we are specifically thinking of ways in which the content can be applied to our High School teens and working towards the New Evangelization with them. After every meeting, we will post a summary of what we had chatted about. We would love it if anyone who is reading along with us but cannot make the meetings would post comments and discuss out here in the digital sphere!
An assorted collection of notes follow from our discussion on Chapters 1 + 2:
– It was a shock to read the statistics about how quickly people are falling away from the Church. By the time our young people are 18, a third of them have fallen away from the practice of the faith. The number only grows and grows as they enter young adulthood.
– While we slightly disagreed with the estimated percentage (5%) of people in the average Catholic Parish who have a personal, lived relationship with Jesus Christ, it was powerful to reflect on how small the number is and how we want to grow that important statistic.
– In order to do that, we know that we need to work to continually incorporate into our lesson planning, events, sacramental preparation programs and conversations the theme of conversion and turning our hearts back to the Lord, again and again in our lives.
– We should use the language of journeying and growing more often when we talk about the life of faith and walking this path of loving Jesus and His Church more throughout our lives.
– Doug provided us with analogies about fishing; Kevin delighted us with the imagery of a sponge. All of the analogies ended with the same point: cultivating disciples is indeed an intentional matter.
– We want “Normal List” on page 60 to really be the normal in our lives, the lives of our teens and our Parishes.
– In order to accomplish all of this, we’ve got to have the support of the entire Parish committed to living this life and witnessing it to our teens.
Of course, we’re not sure how we’re going to help make all of this happen yet. We do know it will entail a lot of prayer, sacrifice and creativity. As for everything else, we will come back to the discussion in 2 weeks when we meet again. Please do think about joining us. Come caught up on your reading! We’ll discuss Chapters 3 + 4 on Monday, September 23rd from 1:15 – 3:00pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center.
Start promoting this great event TODAY in your Parish. The dates are January 31 – February 2 at the Kalahari Resort!
And… we’re back. Thanks for bearing with us over those crazy summer months. We’ve still got more to share from the adventures of this summer, what we’ve learned and more. However, today’s not that day. Today is Wednesday, and that means that we’re going to relaunch the Wanderer Wednesday series!
For today, we are keeping it simple. Just enjoy these three videos that could help you in some way this year as you are getting started with your teens and revisiting the story of Salvation History.
Dive In – Cory Heimann
I think this is relevant for the beginning or re-energizing of any catechetical endeavor! What a great reminder that there is so much more to our Catholic faith, and all we need to do to embrace it is to dive in.
Chosen – Cory Heimann
While this was specifically created for the Steubenville Conference this year, it can send a powerful message to any group of Catholic teens about their being created and loved by God! [To access this video, you’ll have to click on the link above in the word “Chosen”!]
Abraham’s Offering – Danielle Rose
While this video is not quite as slick as those beautiful films prouduced by Cory Hiemann, rockstar in the Catholic visual media world, the lyrics to this beautiful song combined with the artwork makes for a powerful five minute reflection on this moment in our Salvation History and what it means to model our faith after Abraham.
Enjoy the inspiration, friends!
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!