OND Staff Report
This September, the Office of Formation in Discipleship is offering youth ministers, pastors, parents and others who interact with youth tools to engage with them in meaningful ways.
The two events – one just for youth ministers – will focus on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive). The text, released in March, was a response to the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Discernment held from Oct. 3-28, 2018.
Written primarily to young people, it also provides adults who minister to youth with invaluable insight regarding the gifts, strengths, needs and concerns of the current generation of young Catholics.
Bob Noel, Formator for the Office of Formation and Discipleship has been planning the event for some time. After consultation with directors of religious education, a mid-September date was ideal for ensuring the highest level of catechist participation for an event to help kickoff the ministry year.
“As the vision of the event unfolded, we recognized that what we offer to youth ministers, directors of religious education and catechists, should be offered to any adult who mentors and ministers to youth, especially parents,” Noel said.
This line of thought led to the creation of two events where Doug Tooke, Vice President of Ministry Advancement for OBD Films will lead attendees through Christus Vivit.
On the evening of Sept. 13, youth ministers from throughout the diocese are invited to a mini-retreat in East Grand Forks focusing on the document.
A second event will be held Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Crookston. Anyone working with, mentoring or raising youth of any ages is invited. The cost of $10 includes lunch.
During the event, Tooke will discuss topics including how to engage with youth in faith and ministry, mentoring, leveraging the strengths of the i-generation and creatively approaching catechesis.
Tooke has more than two decades of professional ministry experience and has traveled to more than 100 dioceses teaching, speaking at conventions and training youth ministers. In addition to his role at OBD Films, he is an adjunct staff member of LifeTeen International. He is also a recipient of the National Catholic Youth Ministry Award from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.
It will also include two breakout sessions for catechists who work with pre-K through sixth grade. These sessions will focus on incorporating meaningful and authentic prayer into catechesis. Kathy Olson, Coordinator of Elementary Faith Formation at Holy Rosary, Detroit Lakes will lead these sessions.
Editor’s note: On August 9, 2019 this story was updated with quotes from the Office of Formation and Discipleship.