Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
If you read the Fairfield County Catholic, you may have caught a recent article about youth ministry in the town of Fairfield. For a few years, we have taken a collaborative approach to Catholic youth ministry for the parishes in Fairfield. St. Pius has been the only parish with an active youth group since the pandemic, but we have been fortunate to welcome teens from numerous parishes in town. Hence, we do not speak about a St. Pius youth group, but rather about Fairfield Life Teen Youth Ministry (www.fairfieldlt.com). Our goal is to make effective Catholic youth ministry available to everyone, regardless of parish affiliation.
With the start of a new fiscal year, we are formalizing our model and our collaboration. The article in the FCC explains that Holy Family-St. Emery Parish, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, and Our Lady of the Assumption Parish are joining us in this effort. First and foremost, this means that each of those parishes will support their young people, encouraging them to participate in Fairfield Life Teen, sending priests and adult volunteers to be present with and to our teens, and making a financial commitment to this very important ministry. One of the greatest needs we have is adult support. The role of adults in youth ministry is not only as supervisors/chaperones. Adults serve as living role models for our young people, mentors who can help them to grow in faith, virtue, and confidence. We are in need of adults to serve as members of the Core Team for Edge Middle School Youth Ministry (meets on Wednesday evenings) and Life Teen High School Youth Ministry (meets on Sunday evenings). Emily Rauser is our Fairfield Life Teen youth minister: if you would like to serve as an adult member of the Core Team, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of Fairfield Life Teen Youth Ministry is to provide direct outreach to Catholic middle and high school students that helps them to continue their formation in the Catholic faith after Confirmation, that strengthens their sense of belonging to a community, and that empowers them to actively engage with the world as evangelists, servants, and witnesses. Weekly gatherings include time for prayer, fellowship, and opportunities to go deeper in some of the central themes of our Catholic life. For nearly twenty years, teens from St. Pius have had an annual mission trip with Catholic Heart Workcamp, and this annual summer service project will continue in the new collaborative model.
In order for Catholic youth ministry to succeed in Fairfield, we need the support of the whole Catholic community in town. If you are a parent of a student in middle school or high school, please encourage their participation in Catholic youth ministry. There are many good and noble programs for youth in our town. Fairfield Life Teen is designed to help them integrate their Catholic faith into every aspect of their life. If you are an adult – whether you have a child in middle school, high school, or no children in school yet/anymore – we need your presence, voice, and support. Adult volunteers make an enormous difference in the success of youth ministry. Our young people need adults who love them and are willing to walk with them as they grow in their faith, as they serve others, and as they come to a deeper understanding of who they are in God’s plan. Please join us in this effort!