Spotlight

When God Mixes With US!

There is a song that we sometimes sing in church, “Great Things Happen”, but this past weekend in Springfield, Missouri amazing things happened! This past weekend Steubenville St. Louis Mid America Youth Conference 2005 was hosted on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. Over 2000 teens and chaperones came by bus, car and van to meet with a very special friend. And how special it was!

The staff of the Office of Youth Ministry arrived on campus on Thursday morning and saw the calm of the streets, heard the quiet of the theatre, and felt the excitement in the air. Yes, even the air held the excitement to come. As a team we gathered with the Young Apostles at Mass to pray for the conference, for the teens, the chaperones and all connected with the upcoming conference. Even the pastor from the local church we attended felt the excitement in the air and expressed his prayer for the conference attendees.

Then on Friday, the busses, vans and cars started arriving. The registration room became a buzz of welcomes, hellos and hugs as groups met groups and staff welcomed participants. Our long hours of work were ending and the Lord’s work was beginning. For not only was He working in our youth attending, He was working in our staff, volunteers, speakers, religious, priests and deacons. His supreme love for us was everywhere. He met us in our brokenness, in our insecurity, in our unworthiness and did what He does always, LOVES us.

This was my seventh year as local coordinator for the Steubenville St. Louis conference. As always, it was a challenging and rewarding weekend. But something more this year, for the first time, I let go! I so often get bottled up in what has to happen and all the details of running a conference I lose sight of the real reason we are gathered, but this year was different for me. I gave the conference back to God and let Him run it. Truly for me it was life changing. I met challenges head on, but did not lose sight of who was running the conference. For the first time in seven years, I attended not one, but both of the women’s sessions. WOW! When I surrender to Him and give it all back – He does amazing things! I have the fire of His love inside of me and I want to scream His love, I feel as if I could burst with the love He has for me. And really all I can say is WOW – great things really do happen when God mixes with us!

This year was for me, my most changing. Someone told me I need to be attentive to others, for God can work through them to me. I have never looked for the small signs from Him that tell me He hears me, so when I take the time to listen and the words they speak, I realize it is from Him, it shakes me. To get that sign so insignificantly from out of the blue can shake you and it certainly shook me. Driving home last night from Springfield again filled my heart with His love and I realized again and again how much He does love me. His love is more than mountains, oceans and people. His love for me, realized can only change me. WOW – amazing things happen when God mixes with us!

Rosanne Twellman

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Memo from the Archbishop

MEMORANDUM

TO: Presbyterate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis; Staff of the Archdiocesan Curia; and Parish Catholic Education, Catholic Youth Council and Youth Ministry Staff and Volunteers

FROM: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

SUBJECT: Restructuring of the Catholic Youth Council and Office of Youth Ministry

DATE: June 6, 2005 – Memorial of Saint Norbert, Bishop

For the past year, I have been studying the organization of the Curia of the Archdiocese, in order that the offices which assist me directly may serve, in the best manner possible, the mission of the Church. A particular concern has been the pastoral care of the youth who are, as our late and most beloved Pope John Paul II so frequently reminded us, the hope of the future of the Church and
of society, in general. I have been helped very much in my study by the work of the Task Force on the Reorganization of the Archdiocesan Curia. On June 4 last, I published the Report of the Task Force and mandated the implementation of the Recommendations contained in the Report.

First of all, I am deeply grateful for all that the Catholic Youth Council (CYC) and the Office of Youth Ministry have done and are doing in service of our youth
and their families. I thank, in particular, Michael P. Kalist, the Executive Director of the Catholic Youth Council, and Sister M. Consolata Crews, F.S.G.M., Interim Director of the Office of Youth Ministry, and their staffs.

In accord with the direction given by Pope John Paul II for the new evangelization, it is my desire to enhance further the service of the Archdiocese on behalf of youth by assuring that every aspect of our care of youth aims at their formation in the Catholic faith and in holiness of life. Every activity we undertake with youth is to assist their growth in the likeness of Christ, their ever greater maturity in the Christian life.

Having studied the matter carefully and after much consultation, I have decided, effective this coming July 5th, to unify the work of the Catholic Youth Council
and the Office of Youth Ministry as the Catholic Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I have asked Father John J. Borcic, who has a long and fruitful experience with both the work of the CYC and the work of the Office of Youth Ministry, to devote himself full-time to the unification of our ministry on behalf of youth, and he has graciously and enthusiastically consented to do so. Father Borcic will have the title of Executive Director of
Catholic Youth Ministry. His office will be at the Blessed John XXIII Center.

Mr. Michael P. Kalist will have the title of Director of the Catholic Youth Council and Sister M. Consolata Crews will have the title of Director of the Office of Youth Ministry. They will work with Father Borcic, and under his
direction, to develop the full unification of the Archdiocese’s ministry on behalf of youth. The present services on behalf of youth will continue but with a particular view to the new evangelization, to the teaching and living of the Catholic faith with new enthusiasm and new energy on the part of our youth.

All of the above changes will take effect on this coming July 5th. I know that I can count upon you to assist Father Borcic, Mr. Kalist and Sister M. Consolata in advancing the unity of our pastoral care of youth. Be assured of my active involvement in the writing of a new and exciting chapter of youth ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Thank you for your kind attention to all of the above. Also, I thank you, in advance, for your understanding and assistance during the time of transition.

God bless you, your homes and your service of the Church.

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Go and Make Disciples

"Evangelization is the energizing core of all ministry with adolescents. All...programs of comprehensive ministry with adolescents must *proclaim* the Good News. They must *invite* young people into a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus and *empower* them to live as His disciples." *(Renewing the Vision - A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry)*

In the last *NETWORKS*, I addressed "conversion" as the ultimate goal of our youth programs. We must help our young people encounter the love of Christ and respond to His call to follow Him and become His disciple. Simply stated, we must proclaim, then invite, and empower.

**To proclaim** is to announce the Good News. What good news? The Good News is that God loves each one of us and because of His great love, He sent His son Jesus into the world to reconcile us with the Father. By our sin, we say no to God as we try to find life and happiness apart from God. But our God doesn't leave us helplessly lost. Rather, He offers us mercy and love as a free gift that we can't earn nor deserve, only receive. We must share both the core of the gospel message as it has been handed down to us and the impact that this message has made in our life. It's the basic Gospel message that changes lives. It's our personal sharing of our faith that makes the Gospel relevant and more tangible.

**To invite** is to intentionally ask young people to entrust their life to Christ. We can't force someone to choose to follow Christ, but we shouldn't idly sit by and hope they do. Invite, ask, encourage, and challenge young people to embrace their faith. Do this again and again and again. We don't know at what moment they will respond so we should provide ample opportunities. Retreats, reconciliation services, praise and worship, and Eucharistic Adoration are all conversion opportunities that we should regularly make available to our young people. These are not the only avenues for conversion, but my experience shows me they are the more likely avenues.

**To empower** is to give young people the tools they need to stay connected to Christ. As young people (or anyone for that matter) experience a renewal of faith, they need to be taught how to tend and care for their faith. What does someone need to know to stay connected to Christ? How to pray, how to meditate on the scriptures, how to enter into the sacraments, how to get with others in supportive relationships, and how to serve others. It's not enough to tell young people they should pray, rather teach and show them how to pray. We must give our young people the "how to's" of maintaining a relationship with Christ or their faith will never mature at best, or die away at worst. Our aim should be more than informing them about our faith. Rather we aim to form in them a way of life. As Jesus has commanded us - Go and make disciples!

*Written and permission granted by Mark Berchem. Mark is the founder and Executive Director of [NET Ministries](http://www.netusa.org/). This is the second part of a 4 part series that will be printed in the NETWORKS Newsletter.*

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Oremus

OREMUS! Let us pray!!

Yes, you are invited to come pray for 4 of our St. Louis seminarians who will be ordained deacons. Everyone is invited to come pray and support these four men on Friday, April 29, 2005, on the eve of their diaconate ordination. Please come support vocations to the priesthood and join us in giving thanks for the generous response of these four men:

* Christopher Dunlap
* Christopher Martin
* Nicholas Muenks
* Aaron Nord

For more details please click [here](http://www.stlyouth.org/calendar/day.php?day=2005-04-29#211).

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Oremus

OREMUS! Let us pray!!

Yes, you are invited to come pray for 4 of our St. Louis seminarians who will be ordained deacons. Everyone is invited to come pray and support these four men on Friday, April 29, 2005, on the eve of their diaconate ordination. Please come support vocations to the priesthood and join us in giving thanks for the generous response of these four men! For more details please click [here](http://www.stlyouth.org/calendar/day.php?day=2005-04-29#211).

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WYD Message from our NEW Holy Father

*From his first Papal mass:*

"I am thinking especially about the youths. My affectionate thought goes to them, Pope John Paul II’s privileged interlocutors, while, God willing, I wait to meet with them in Cologne on the occasion of the next World Youth Day. I will continue the dialogue with you, dear youths, future and hope of the church and mankind."

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