About the Office for Youth and Young Adults

The Office for Youth and Young Adults responds to the needs of the youth (ages 8-35) in the Catholic Church as they seek to know, love, and live the faith. As a branch of the pastoral ministry of the diocesan Church, the Office for Youth and Young Adults shares the common mission of the universal Church to “make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything” that Christ has commanded us (Mt 28.19-20).

The diocesan Office works together with and supports parish ministries in fulfilling their mission to the youth and young adults in their local communities, while also providing broader opportunities for the youth of the diocese to come together as a diocesan Church.

What can the Office for Youth and Young Adults do for You?

1. The Office for Youth and Young Adults is here to provide vision, leadership, and advocacy for the spiritual and professional formation of those who serve youth and young adults in the Diocese of St. Paul.

2. Along with providing support to parishes and schools who want to further develop their existing youth program, we are also eager to assist parishes and schools in starting up youth programs.

3. Training and resources are available for the development of a comprehensive vision of youth and young adult ministry for adult coordinators, youth leaders, volunteers, leaders in parishes, parents, and schools.

4. The Office for Youth and Young Adults offers an opportunity for the young people of the diocese to experience the 'Diocesan Church' by forms of gatherings, conferences, rallies, retreats, pilgrimages, and World Youth Day, as well as other national and international retreats, conferences, and pilgrimages.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the 21st Century

Pope St. John Paul II called us to a new evangelisation; this evangelisation is not new as if the mission of evangelisation had been completed and we must now start over, but it is new in its methods and means, its energy, and its vitality. Today’s mission of evangelisation is not only to non-Catholics, but even to those who have been Catholic their whole life; many in the Church do no know Jesus and have never had a personal encounter with Him. As such, their faith is often not made their own and is impersonal; it remains something for Sunday at church and not something to engage with and encounter anew in daily life. Our mission of evangelisation is to introduce Catholics and non-Catholics alike to someone new, Jesus Christ, that He may give them life and “they may have it to the full” (Jn 10.10).

Evangelisation today begins with a call. Each of us is called to relationship with Jesus, “to know Him, to love Him with all our strength” (CCC 1), and we in turn are to call others to the same. Consider the chain of calls that brought Peter to encounter Christ: first, God called John the Baptist to encounter Jesus in His Baptism (cf. Jn 1.33), then John called Andrew to encounter Jesus beside the Jordan (cf. 1.36-37), finally, Andrew called Peter to encounter Jesus in the house where He was staying (cf. 1.42). Peter in turn brought thousands to Christ through his life and preaching, became the first Pope, and eventually poured out his very life for love of Jesus. This is our example in our ministry, to experience in ourselves the call of the Saviour and bring others to Him in turn through our life and our preaching.

The key area of our focus is the family, which is “a specific revelation and realisation of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church” (CCC 2204; cf. FC 21). Parents are the first and primary youth ministers and so our ministry must, in its fundamental nature, partner with parents to bring our youth into relationship with Christ. The second key area of focus is the parish and school communities. Studies seem to show that young people are attracted to parishes “that are dynamic communities and have an attractive ethos or feel,” namely, one that “helps them grow in Christ, helps them in times of hardship, and equips them to use their talents to make a difference in the community” (You Give Them Something to Eat, 7). The final key area of focus is the greater society, especially as it is instantiated through social media; the young people of today are more connected to the world and yet more isolated, lacking many of the real life skills required in adulthood. Youth and young adult ministry must be wholistic and address the development of the whole person so they may be effective witnesses of Christ’s love to the world.

The Church is by nature a community of missionaries. In its very essence, “the Church is called to proclaim Good News with authenticity, fidelity, joy and relevance. We proclaim a Person – the Person of Jesus Christ. We proclaim the Good News of his coming among us as a human being, his love, his liberating teaching, his eternally life-giving Resurrection, and the redemption offered in and through him” (You Give Them Something to Eat, 10). This is our mission as ministers to youth and young adults, to share the Gospel in joy. The goal we must always keep in mind is that everyone of those we meet and minister to may know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom [He has] sent” (Jn 17.3).

Society of Saint Jean de La Lande

The Society of Saint Jean de La Lande is a gathering for young Catholic men aged 18-35 who are seeking to discern God's call for their lives while growing in faith and fraternity. The hope is that the gathering will take place every two months, though the discernment and growth will continue throughout the year. In a society that continues to move further and further from away its Christian roots, it is time for young men to heed the call of God to take up their crosses daily and follow Christ.

Why a society?

Society is a word with many secondary meanings. One of those is a milieu in which culture and civilisation develops, while another is a gathering of people. By gathering together we will strive to foster a place where the civilisation and culture preached in the Gospel is encouraged and lived.

Why is this group under the patronage of Saint Jean de La Lande?

Saint Jean de La Lande is one of the eight Canadian Martyrs. He gave a hand to the Jesuit fathers, hunting, chopping wood, and evangelizing the pagan tribes through a lived Christian example. He and other young men called "donnés" (French for "given") left the comforts of civilisation to live the rugged life of missionaries. They are perfect examples for us today, as they were open to the call of God; yet, they did not wait to be priests or religious before going out to spread the Gospel.

Triumph in the Cross is an annual Youth Rally held every September. Youth and Young Adults aged 14 and up from across the diocese meet with their peers to celebrate and challenge themselves in their faith through a dynamic day of fun and fellowship. Some of the best local and international youth speakers are brought in to encourage and inspire.

“Our Patron Saint, St. Paul says, ‘The love of Christ urges us on!’

And those of us who feel and know it, are glad to share this good news. But even we need to be recharged and ‘lifted up’ now and then. So please, come to our diocesan youth rally.

As your Bishop, I count on you. Together we can go further with our Lord!” – Bishop Paul Terrio

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Triumph in the Cross has been cancelled for 2021; God willing we will be back in September 2022!

Explanation of the Triumph in the Cross Logo

The White Cross – is to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus gave of Himself, for the forgiveness of our sins.

The White Circle in the centre – represents the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian life.

The Four Flames of Fire – represents the Holy Spirit present in all four directions of the diocese (north, south, east, and west); each of the parts being the same, yet unique.

World Youth Day was instituted by St. John Paul II on Palm Sunday 1985 as an opportunity for the youth of the world to come together as a community and experience the life of the Church. World Youth Day takes place each year on Palm Sunday in the various dioceses throughout the world, but approximately every three years the youth of the world gather in a single city selected by the Pope. The 38th World Youth Day and 15th international gathering will take place in the city of Lisbon, Portugal in August 2023 with the theme, “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39).

Official World Youth Day Promo Video

Official Welcome Video from the Patriarchate of Lisbon

Typically held three times a year in St. Paul, Theology on Tap provides an opportunity for adults to meet in a casual setting to hear an interesting speaker on a topic of faith. There is plenty of time to ask questions and have lively conversations and grow in fellowship, allowing you to experience a sense of community and feel invited to take part in the ongoing life of the Church. Admission is $15.00, which covers appetisers and your first drink.

A Mother Daughter retreat is held each year in the fall and takes place in various locations throughout the diocese. It is a weekend designed for one on one interaction and is set apart for a mother and daughter to dedicate time to one another, to build understanding through prayer with one another, and to be present to each other while discovering how ‘mercy filled communication’ builds a strong relationship.

The Office for Youth and Young Adults serves as a support and resource pool for youth ministry and young adult ministry across the diocese. Please contact the Director for Youth and Young Adults to find out what we can do for you, if you have any questions, or for more information. Listed below are some excellent resources and sites you can look at as well.

Project YM https://projectym.com/

Lifeteen https://lifeteen.com/

Face 2 Face Ministries https://f2f.ca/

Chastity Project https://chastity.com/

Pulse Catholic School Retreats https://catholicschoolretreats.ca/

Pure Witness https://purewitness.com/

Net Canada https://www.netcanada.ca/

Busted Halo https://bustedhalo.com/

Center for Parent/Youth Understanding https://cpyu.org/

Video Catechism http://vcat.org/

Ablaze Family Ministries https://ablazefamily.org/