Spotlight on Youth and Young Adult Ministry
The program for high school students at Saint Anne has several components that are intended to create a space for teens and offer opportunities for them to further develop their knowledge of their Catholic faith.
PATHS (People After the Holy Spirit) is the two-year Confirmation program. Most students start in their freshman year of high school and are confirmed at the close of their sophomore year. The program is oriented around Decision Point, developed by Matthew Kelly, an Australian theologian and religious educator. Students meet for 12 sessions a year, 8 of those in the home of a catechist (co-taught by another catechist) and 4 sessions in the Parish Center with the entire two-year student group. Within the 4 group session, keynote speakers address the students on topics related to how they have been challenged in their own faith life and have sought to overcome the trials of faith. In the second of the two years, students attend a one-day retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington. They are expected to write 4 essays in the course of the year and perform 16 hours of community service.
Liturgical Ministries are available for teens after they are confirmed, such as becoming ministers of Communion or lectors. A number of students continue the ministry of being an altar server into their high school years, something our pastor encourages.
Kairos Retreat is a 4-day retreat program for juniors and seniors intended to introduce students to the Christian Kerygma (the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ). Talks on aspects of the Christian life are presented by 8 students and 4 adults, each followed by small group discussion. The sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation are included in the course of the retreat. For many students, the Kairos Retreat is a major highlight of their high school experience. Several reunions are hosted throughout the year for students to gather for sharing, renewing their faith and socializing so as to keep the spirit of Kairos alive.
Night Ministry is one of the great service programs at Saint Anne. For countless years, devoted adults and teens have been feeding economically-impoverished Chicago residents on the far south side, near Lake Michigan. Many families volunteer time, talent and treasure to provide food. Once there, the adults and teens rendezvous with the Night Ministry van, a large vehicle that provides food and medical care for those in need. They set up tables on the street, often on frigid cold nights, and serve the food.
Summer Service is an immersion trip for one week in West Virginia for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students travel by van to the Appalachia Folk Life Center South to assist in the repair of homes for the local residents. While there, they are educated on the culture of the area as well as spend significant time reflecting prayerfully on their daily encounters with the communities within which they work. It is an uplifting experience for the teens, with many of them wanting to repeat it each year.
Please join us after all Masses on Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd, in the Gathering Space, to learn more about our ministries and how you can participate!
As individuals, couples and families, when we experience and share our faith together as community we are all richer for the experience!