St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Kenmore
The parish staff learned that connections with young adults almost exclusively happens through texting and cell phones, St. Andrew Parish set a goal to use technology as an outreach tool. The primary focus was to create a parish website that can keep young adults (ages 18 - 35), both parishioners and those in the surrounding community, connected with what the parish has to offer their journey of faith. A parishioner helped to create a website and began to use it to reach out to those away at college, young families and young adults in the community.
The parish hosted a website launch event after the site's development. Over 150 people attended, with over 90 parishioners signing up for email notifications. The parish is different because their website efforts gave the parish staff and engaged parishioners a great awareness of the needs of young adults. The parish also concentrated efforts on Lenten outreach via their website. Prayers, commentaries on Lenten readings, and participatory links were offered. Family and young adult pages offered activity sheets, suggested readings and related links.
For more information email Theresa Bornholdt or call at 716-873-6716.
Immaculate Conception, Wellsville
First, the parish wanted to develop a program to encourage and grow both socialization and religious experience. Very difficult, because no matter what, the parish couldn’t get the Youth to respond to our efforts or to even dialog with us so we could adapt our plans to meet their requirements. Second, we tried to awaken a sense of belonging to our parish family by essentially offering to help the Youth achieve goals they might see as an opportunity for them to belong to the parish community and to live their faith in a way that was meaningful to them.
Now that the first year is coming to a close the parish is beginning to see a small change in attitude and will build off that and hopefully make more progress in their efforts to help the parish's youth grow into their faith as young Catholics with ministry that is meaningful to them.
The parish hosted a special luncheon for Confirmation candidates and their families to welcome their continued involvement in parish life.
For more information, email Sue Stout or call at 585-593-4834.
St. James Parish, Jamestown
The parish created space and programs designed to keep post-Confirmation youth (Grades 11,12 and early college years) connected and active with their parish. The parish redecorated a room with fresh paint and comfortable furniture, gathered youth together for brainstorming, and enlisted the help of a core group to plan several programs and events. A "Kick-Off the Summer" campfire and overnight was planned for June 2011 as well as a four week Teen Bible Study on Sunday mornings. The parish intentionally invited and encouraged young people to participate more fully in parish ministries as Lectors, Eucharisitic Ministers, and Catechists and are helping them receive the needed training to do their ministry well. A Catholic web comic is being developed, and there are suggestions for future events including: a film & discussion evening, speakers, and an informal gathering to play instruments and sing.
For more information, call Linda Wilson at 716-487-0125
The primary focus of the project was to provide the parishes' 18-35 (post-Confirmation) young adults with skills to enhance their ability to minister to their peers. The parishes began by meeting with the young adult leaders fo the three parishes and identified needs adn tools to meet those needs. Training sessions in leadership and diversity were identified as the primary needs. They attempted to organize the group to provide events that would meet their goals.
Initially, there was enthusiasm but then the 'young adult' leaders, began to drop out of sight, ie., school out of the area, job commitments, and family issues.
The planning group planned a joint vicariate wide event for June 2011. It began with Mass together at Ss. Columba-Brigid Church, with the Vicar of Northwest Central Vicariate celebrating, a catered lunch, a presentation on "diversity' and ending with a prayer service in the Sister Karen Peace Garden. The event was primarily promoted through online technologies.
For more information, email Joan Ersing
or contact at 716-883-7729
The parish created avenues of intentional outreach to post-confirmation youth and college-aged young adults. Active involvement in Eucharistic adoration, the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and youth music ministry were three of the most obvious areas of impact.
Involvement was encouraged through the parish's efforts to personally invite and specifically held young-adult activies suchas special Masses (with fellowship immediately following, outdoor events such as white water rafting (which included an outdoor Mass immediatley following the rafting experience), young adult parish dinner dance complete with a DJ- which included a sit-down dinner buffet in which all the tables were set up in a U shape and everyone faced eachother, young adult sponsored events such as "Hope for the Holidays" in which the parish's young people collected, saved, and donated items for distribution during the Christmas season.
Technology such as Facebook, texting, and a parish website were used in spreading the information regarding these events.
For more information, email Renee Birkby
or call at 585-599-4833
Sacred Heart Parish, Lakewood
The parish needed to engage the post-Confirmation students into parish life. They celebrated Confirmation and the parish didn't see the majority of them after that until they were seeking the Sacrament of Matrimony. With the help of the grant the parish sent young people to (programs offered through the Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry) the Christian Leadership Institute, youth Retreat Training, the Diocesan Youth Convention, the Pathways to Parish Vitality Conference, organized a Youth Group, took field trips adn did service projects.
The young people involved are attending Mass more and taking leadership roles in the parish. The parish now sees the youth in roles as catechists, lectors, and retreat leaders. There are many post confirmation students teaching the Faith Formation classes, being role models for young students and increasing their own faith knowledge at the same time. The youth group also had a float in the Jamestown Christmas Parade. It had a living Nativity scene on the flot with three kings passing out candy on the way. The young peopled helpd to evangelize the surrounding community that Catholics are expressing their faith in the world too.
The parish focused efforts on a Bible study for young people and parish website. Young people from the parish requested a Bible study and the parish employed a young adult to design and update the parish website.
The website will allow more people to stay connected to the day-to-day operations, programs and ministries of the parish. The site is also designed to link parishioners with the larger church community through numerous relevant links.
Listen to the parish's presenation here:
For more information, email Laurie Marshanke or call at 716-297-5010
Good Shepherd Parish, Pendelton
The parish selected post Confirmation as our target group. We used our parish mission statement as our main focus. We carried out our corporal works of mercy in three areas. to clothe the poor, visit the sick and bury the dead. We engaged four eager Young adults from the Confirmation class of 2010 and they became mentors to the class of 2011. Now the class of 2011 will step up and mentor the Confirmation class of 2012.
We were blessed to have four wonderful examples of young catholic adults to model. We feel they "the young adults" certainly were excited to be a part of this new concept for our parish. Once a few kids became involved a few more inquired.
It is really nice that parishoners are taking notice seeing young people on our church grounds and helping out our entire parish. The two projects we have completed are burying the dead, cleaning up our cemetery and helping to install a ramp for our church so caskets can enter more easily. Clothing the naked also has been awesome. We purchased a new washer and dryer and we are able to clean the clothing we donate to St. Luke's Mission of Mercy. It really makes everyone happy to send freshly laundered clothes to our favorite charity.
For more information email Michele Rankie or call at 716-625-8817
To discuss the post-confirmation milestone further, please contact Jennifer Belock at 716-847-8789 or email@example.com.