Tag Archives: Catholic

Making the Most out of Lent

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

Ask someone what he might be doing for Lent, and you’ll likely get responses along the lines of:  “I’m giving up Facebook” or “I’m giving up eating chocolate.”

Granted, these may be noble notions on their own, but people – young and old – often get too caught up in what they might be “giving up” for Lent instead of why they are doing it.

Continue reading Making the Most out of Lent

Youth Ministry is so Advent

Advent is about waiting.  Anticipating.  Expecting.  Preparing.  Hoping.

This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.

We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus.  We wait for them to arrive so we can start our youth gatherings.  We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.

We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door.  We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions.  We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.

We expect the youth to behave when they are at Church.  We expect that more youth will come out to social events than teaching nights.  We expect that Father will ask us “So how many people came to youth ministry last night?”

We prepare prayer services, social justice excursions, and skits.  We prepare snacks to serve the youth either before, during, or after the gathering.  We prepare them to be able to share their testimonies with a world that so desperately needs to hear them.

We hope that we are making a difference in the youths’ lives.  We hope that they make good decisions especially in the face of temptation.  We hope that their homes are stable and that their friends are good.

Most of all, we love them where they are at and we lead them to an encounter with Jesus Christ.

Just as Christ entered the world to love and encounter us.

 

Archdiocese of Vancouver #WYDChallenge (JP II Pastoral Staff)

The staff of the Archdiocese of Vancouver at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre got together to celebrate the pilgrims traveling to Krakow for World Youth Day.

Thanks to our friends at Salt + Light for the challenge. In turn, we challenge all Canadian pilgrims (and especially diocesan offices) to put together their own #WYDChallenge video!

More importantly, we pray for all pilgrims traveling to Poland for World Youth Day.

Follow the pilgrims of the Archdiocese of Vancouver on Twitter at @vanWYD: http://www.twitter.com/vanWYD

Clay’s Corner Episode #4: We Will Win – Fr. Joseph Named New Bishop of Kamloops

Fr. Joseph Nguyen – the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Vancouver – RCAV – has been named as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops.

In my new Clay’s Corner, I talk about Fr. Joseph’s wonderful qualities and amazing story, and I trace the genesis of his most famous proclamation. ‪

Making Presumptions in Youth Ministry

My much-anticipated catch-up session with a youth minister got off to an auspicious start this evening. Upon entering my favorite Japanese restaurant, I told the owner that I would need a table for two. As one of the waiters led me to a table, a woman who I didn’t know entered the restaurant immediately after me. Somehow, the waiter thought that the woman was with me (my wife wouldn’t have been too happy) and somehow the woman remarkably didn’t see me sit in the booth first. Once she sat down she finally looked at me across the table. Slightly embarrassed, she gasped “Oh sorry…I thought that he was seating ME.” She quickly made her way to another table as I tried to stifle my laughter.

An honest mistake to be sure. And in retrospect I don’t blame her for wanting to sit with me. Kidding. Sort of. But not really.

But her innocent presumption got me thinking of the many times we make presumptions in youth ministry. And as in this case, they often turn out wrong.

Read the rest of this blog on Project YM.