Be There - Light the Way

The annual "Be There" fundraising campaign is off and running. The Office of Youth Ministry needs your help to keep providing the ministries that have affected so many young lives. With staff reductions and budget cuts, we need you more than ever.

Did you realize that a gift of:

$400.00 provides on-line consulting for a parish participating in the [VITAL program](

> *"When I was at the first Vital training session... My passion, my love for teens and to serve the Lord was revitalized.. I felt affirmed in my decision to say Yes to God and serve in youth ministry."* Read more »


Youth ministry holds promise of our future

I make no bones about it: I am a Catholic because of youth ministry.

Twenty-five years after my young-adult conversion to Catholicism, I love the Church for its traditions and its sacraments. I love it for the beauty of its liturgies and cathedrals and for its unfailing support for life and the poor.

But when I was 19, I didn’t know all those things. I just knew I had found a place where I was understood, a place where I could fail then seek forgiveness. I found there was real power in coming before an altar and receiving the Real Presence of Christ with a handful of other equally confused young people, each of us trying to find our way in the world. Read more »


VITAL Signs!

Remember when the E-Man asked you to contact the youth ministry program in your parish to see if they would go to the "VITAL" informational meeting? Well, it worked! After the meetings, 36 different parishes have expressed interest in the program.

We are very excited! With the recent restructuring, Vital is going to be an incredibly important part of our parish support effort. It will allow us to do more with less and help to create solid youth ministry programs across the area.

It is not, however, a magic bullet. VITAL will help to guide parishes, but parish employees and volunteers are still going to have to do the work necessary to create strong, vibrant, and VITAL programs. The E-Man is asking all our donors to pray for these parishes so that they may effectively deliver the Good News to the teens of the Archdiocese. Read more »


The E-Man needs your help!

The OYM is starting a program called VITAL! (Vision, Inclusive, Tools, Accountability, Life-Giving!) We are partnering with Cultivation Ministries to bring this innovative new youth ministry training program to St. Louis. VITAL aims to train those who will be working directly with teens in parishes and to help parishes develop effective strategies for developing youth ministry in that parish. In short, VITAL wants to help people create successful youth ministries in parishes across St. Louis.

VITAL will be a two-year program with four training sessions a year. In addition to the training sessions, VITAL parishes will participate in an ongoing online consultation and assessment session which will track progress made on quantifiable, measurable goals. VITAL parishes will also have access to coaches that will receive similar training and make visits to parish functions to help parishes get an outside, objective, and fresh look at youth ministry activities. At the end of the two-year period, each parish will receive a final assessment evaluating the success of their efforts based on their own goals. Read more »


The OYM needs your prayers

As you have already heard, Archdiocesan agencies have recently been required to make some significant budget cuts in order to balance the budget. These new cuts, along with cuts in other funding sources for the OYM over the past few years, will force significant changes in the OYM starting in July.

More information about staff and programs that will have to be cut will be made public soon. Some good programs and good staff members will be lost. Despite these cuts, the OYM still has some exciting plans for the future, such as our VITAL program where we will collaborate with Cultivation Ministries to provide coaching and consultation to parishes. We will still be collaborating with Catholic Camps of America to develop camping opportunities for Catholic Youth. In addition to these exciting new programs, you can expect to see some of the familiar OYM events and programs, like Steubenville St. Louis and REAP retreats, which have impacted the lives of teens for the past five years. Read more »


OYM and the ADA

As our annual campaign has progressed, a few people have commented about the Archdiocesan Development Appeal. Since the OYM is supported by the ADA, some have wondered why we need to conduct our own separate campaign.

The ADA is a wonderful campaign that gives a generous grant to the OYM as well as other charities every year. Because the ADA supports such a wide scope of agencies, ministries, and other charities, it cannot typically fully fund an agency or program. It would be impossible for us to emphasize enough the importance of the ADA and we encourage everyone to make a gift to the ADA as it kicks off this year's campaign. Read more »