(a ministry of the Office of Catechetical Leadership, Youth and Young Adult Ministry)
What is needed today is a Church which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into dialogue with them and, through his body, which is the church, to propose the possibility of a choice, which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the church must become the traveling companion of young people.”
Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day Philippines, 1995
The Catholic Bishops of the United States defined Catholic youth ministry in the 1997 document Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry (RTV) [need correct hyperlink to hyperlink to]. This document, printed in both English and Spanish, provides a structure for the ministry as well as a language, theology, and pastoral approach for responding to the personal and spiritual needs of today's adolescents.
The Church must become the traveling companion of young people—and that is what we mean by youth ministry. If, indeed, “it takes an entire village to raise a child,” then it certainly takes an entire church to journey with young people as they grapple with the Good News and respond in discipleship.
In Renewing the Vision, the USCCB identified three goals and eight components which provide direction for this ministry:
Three Essential Goals
- Empowering young people to live as disciples of Christ in our world today
- Drawing young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community
- Fostering the personal and spiritual growth of each young person
Eight Essential Components
- Justice and Service
- Leadership Development
- Pastoral Care
- Prayer and Worship
The diocesan Office of Youth Ministry maintains to the best of its knowledge and control that the parishes are in compliance with Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (USCCB).
Meetings and Workshops
- Youth Ministry Coordinator meetings are held monthly at Diocesan Pastoral Center. The purpose of these meetings is professional development through updating, networking, collaborating, and sharing ideas and resources to the benefit of those we serve.
- Diocesan Youth Council is open to parish youth who are selected by their Pastors/Youth Ministers and who are interested in becoming leaders in their parish community. DYC is an opportunity for developing leadership qualities and skills in young people. By learning leadership skills and then using those skills to plan, implement and facilitate the Middle School Field Day and Diocesan Youth Rally. Participation in Christian Leadership Institute is integral to the leadership training of DYC members.
- Christian Leadership Institute is a two-day institute where young people learn leadership through education, exercise, practice and implementation. Immersion in large and small group dynamics and sharing of task and process is a key component. All parishes are encouraged to recognize young people with leadership qualities and encourage and/or sponsor their participation.
- Certification in Youth Ministry is a nationally standard and recognized professional certification in ministry. Through collaboration and cooperation with the Diocese of Orlando, the Diocese of Palm Beach offers the opportunity for attaining this level of formation.
- Professional Development is offered through Workshops, Presentations, Learning Sessions, In-Services and Retreats. Very often these are nationally renowned experts in their respective fields or through individuals or teams that we are blessed to have in our diocese.