Spotlight

Memorial Service and Mass Planned for JPII

With much sadness we share with you the news that our beloved Holy Father, John Paul II, has passed into eternal life with our Savior Jesus Christ. His life of dedicated, selfless service to the Church has been an inspiration for each one of us. We each have our own story of how this incredible man has touched our lives. We give thanks to God for his example of prayer, joy, service, courage and love. We know how much he loved us, his beloved children.

We remember the words he spoke to us here in St. Louis in 1999: *“Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!”*

We have a memorial prayer service and mass planned to gather as an archdiocese to pray for and celebrate the life of Pope John Paul II. We invite all people of all ages to come! Please [check here](/misc/jpii/) for information regarding time and place.

Let us continue to unite our hearts in prayer giving thanks to God for the gift of his life. May his example of passion and zeal for the Gospel of Jesus Christ take root in our hearts, so that our lives too may be a light to the world.

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Juvenile Death Penalty Ruled Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday it is against the constitution to execute killers who were under 18 years old when they committed their crimes. The abolishment was decided in the case of Roper v. Simmons.

This is a day of victory and a small step toward the preservation of all human life, from conception to *natural* death. Check out what the [Catechism](http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.htm#2267) has to say about the death penalty, and read the articles below to learn more about the decision and Chris Simmons' story.

**In the News**

* [Bishops’ Conference Applauds Supreme Court Decision On Death Penalty For Juvenile Offenders, Spokesman Says](http://usccb.org/comm/archives/2005/05-047.shtml) (USCCB)
* [Church groups hail ruling ending death penalty for juvenile offenders](http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0501223.htm) (Catholic News Service)
* [Court bans executions of juveniles](http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/stor...) (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
* [Juvenile death penalty unconstitutional](http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/01/scotus.death.penalty.ap/index.html) (CNN)

**Chris Simmons & the OYM**

* [A Minory Penalty: Interview by Brian Niebrugge](/misc/articles.php?article=36)
* [Discussing the Chris Simmons Case](/misc/articles.php?article=37)
* [OYM Instrumental in Death Penalty Case](/misc/articles.php?article=35)

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OYM says Good-bye and Hello

January 28, 2005 will be a day to remember around here at the Office of Youth Ministry! It will be a day for good-bye and a day to welcome.

During the past five months Sister Mary George, FSGM has experienced and provided many services. From talking with youth ministers, to organizing registration for WYD, to her incredible graphic skills, Sister Mary George has learned much during her time as an intern. We are grateful for all she has contributed and will miss her presence around the office. Where is she going you ask? Well, she will return to Alton, IL to prepare for her first profession of vows in August. Please keep Sister Mary George in your prayers!

Please join us in welcoming Liz Buncher to the staff of the OYM! We look forward to having this talented young woman join us in serving the youth ministers and young people of the archdiocese. A previous intern herself of the OYM, Liz comes to us bringing experience as a youth minister. Having served at St. Clement of Rome, Liz assisted in working with teens incorporating them into the life of the church through service, faith experiences, prayer and sacraments. With her joyful spirit, she is now here to serve the people of the archdiocese.

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OYM To Offer Internships

The Office of Youth Ministry is seeking applicants for summer internships. OYM internships are unpaid and offer young people an opportunity to give a period of service to the Church, while gaining valuable experience and formation, and for some possible academic credit.

To apply for an internship with the OYM please [complete our online form](/jobs). You may also contact the OYM at 314.633.2500 if you wish to speak with someone or to request information.

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Making Disciples is Our Mandate

A recent Gallup Youth Survey reports that 65% of teenagers have been involved in a church youth group at some point during their high school years. However, by the time they reach college, only 25% report any regular church attendance. What happens in those years to cause such a great decrease in the church participation of our youth? More importantly, what can be done to prevent this from happening at all?

Some would argue that if only 65% are active as teenagers, the Church must find ways to get the other third involved. While this is a good argument, I would propose that the first question to focus on is how to keep the two thirds of our teens active in our church communities. Although many parishes have youth programs it is clear from these statistics that many of those programs are in need of something that will help their young people make the transition from high school to college with an intact faith. Over the next few newsletters, I hope to highlight some of the important components that comprise an effective youth program that can help make this happen. Let's start by identifying the goal of youth ministry.

My observation is that many parish youth programs are unclear about the ultimate goal of youth ministry. In looking at many programs, it might appear that the goals are one of the following:

* Have fun
* Teach basic doctrine
* Do service projects to help others

Obviously all these things are good and should be part of a viable youth program. Yet there is a more fundamental goal that must be present – bringing our young people into a committed relationship with Jesus Christ. Conversion must be THE goal of our youth programs.

If we don't know what the target is, we will never hit it. The U.S. bishops have clearly articulated the fundamental purpose of youth ministry. "All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good New of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become his disciples." ([Renewing the vision – A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry](http://www.usccb.org/laity/youth/rtvcontents.htm)). Conversion has to be our goal. We must help our young people encounter the love of Christ and respond to His call to follow Him and become His disciple. With so many activities and things clamoring for our young people's attention, it should not be a surprise that there is a decline in church involvement among youth. It's critical that those who work with youth are clear. Conversion is the goal. Making disciples is our mandate.

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

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Steubenville 2005: Experience the Glory!

Greetings in Christ! It is my pleasure to be able to announce the theme for the 2005 Franciscan Summer Youth Conference season. After much prayer and discussion we decided upon, "Experience the Glory!" This summer over 30,000 teens will receive the invitation to dive deep into the mystery of God's love and receive the full life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10.

St. Irenaeus stated that, "The glory of God is man fully-alive." To experience the glory is to experience the full life of Christ within our very hearts, minds, souls, and bodies! We do this by coming into the presence of Christ and opening every part of ourselves to Him.

As the catechism states, "Christ is the true temple of God, 'the place where His glory dwells'; by the grace of God, Christians also become temples of the Holy Spirit – living stones out of which the Church is built." – CCC 197.

This summer we will focus on the glory of God – the light of His majesty and grace that He has revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ. We experience this glory in the Mass, during Adoration, when we praise and glorify His Holy Name.

"Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives Him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God." - CCC 2639

All this comes to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, the "Spirit of Glory!" (1 Peter 4:14) By asking God to stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we can experience the life of Christ in abundance.

As you prepare for the upcoming summer, focus on the words of Christ as spoken in the book of Revelation. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." – Revelation 3:20. It all begins with a step in faith, by simply opening our hearts to Jesus Christ. He desires so much to be with us and share His glory with us.

I am so excited about the miracles and blessings that Christ is going to pour out this summer. Please know that myself, the Youth Outreach staff, the organizers, hosts and speakers are praying for you. Please pray for us! We love you in Christ! Let’s get ready to "Experience the Glory!"

Sincerely,
John K. Beaulieu
Director of Youth and Young Adult Outreach
Franciscan University of Steubenville

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