Hope - Suubi - Solidarity

Hope - Suubi - Solidarity

Suubi is the word for hope in Uganda.  It is a word that can inspire, challenge or make us run in fear. I am choosing the first two and invite you to join me on  little journey.  I first met Moses in a Facebook Youth Ministry group. He was so excited about what God was doing in his country and felt called to do something for the youth and families in his community.  He was so eager to learn about social justice - a new concept to him.  We had so many conversations about service, justice, what the Catholic church has to say about human dignity, poverty, hunger and needs.  I learned that his community was hit very hard by AIDS and HIV, leaving so many children sick and orphaned.  The community was finding it very difficult to care for everyone....and many go without basic needs today.  Moses challenged his youth group to build a home for a homeless family - and I was amazed at how this poor community and even poorer youth found a way to build a tiny brick home for this family. It was beautiful and of course empowering. The youth wanted something more to do...so Moses helped them feed the hungry in their community. They gave up their own breakfast one day to share it with the school children in need.  I was overwhelmed by this beautiful act. There is no excess from which to give in this community - people are giving from their own food, own shelter, own clothing.  It shook me to my core. I thought of all our YNIA teams - and their own fundraising efforts to come on a YNIA week. You all earn the money to give up a week to serve in the name of Jesus.  It is radical.  It is a paradox.  It is our faith. We will soon be sharing with you a little project Moses and our YNIA team have come up with to bring breakfast to the children in Masaka, Uganda. We hope to have each YNIA team host a breakfast to raise money to help our friends grow maize. This maize will be breakfast for the children. You and I know we learn better, feel better and do better if we have full tummies. 

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Partnering with a Purpose

I have always believed in Catholic Relief Services, its mission, and its work. So when CRS invited the Center for Ministry Development to partner in developing FoodFast for 2015, we said YES without hesitation. FoodFast is CRS' 24-hour interactive experience for youth which engages them in exploring issues of hunger while fasting and raising money to feed those who go to bed hungry every night.

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Announcing New CMD Staff

I am excited to announce an addition to our ministry staff. Angel Barrera will join the Center for Ministry Development as a Project Coordinator for Youth Ministry Services on January 5, 2015. Angel has over 10 years of experience in ministry with youth and families in parish, campus ministry and diocesan settings. He holds a Masters of Arts degree in Religious Studies from University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He has been serving as the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Brownsville.

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Hail Mary Ministry

My wife and I were visiting our daughter's at their college football game this month. It was a great 59 minutes of football for the home team, until a Hail Mary pass in the last ten seconds gave victory to the other side. This was a surprising and disappointing experience, but it made me think about why we call it a "Hail Mary" pass.

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Change the World!

One of the most incredible things about high school youth is their depth of compassion, willingness to serve and sense of adventure.  With those three ingredients - they really can change the world.  So what needs changing?  When there is a need not met - that's when change is needed.  When there are children or families in our communities who are hungry - elderly who are lonely or neglected, when mental illness  is not addressed and  homelessness becomes a way of life and not just a temporary thing - change is needed! Service and mission trips help us to keep our hearts pliable and our eyes searching for those in our midst who need the love of Christ.  A high school mission trip with YNIA makes changing the world an everyday event and it empowers young people to stand up, choose to be the salt and the light that changes things - that brings hope, healing and joy. 

Best of Youth Ministry Access for July

YMA-Monthly-Highlights---The-Best-of-YMA
Honoring God and Country July 4 - Independence Day Faithful Citizenship: Mixing Faith and Politics by Sean Lansing (high school) The Christian Patriot: Loving God and Country by Sean Lansing (high school) Honoring the Saints of July July 3 - St. Thomas the Apostle Blessed are Those Who Have Not Seen, But Believe: Putting an End to Being a Doubting ...
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Best of Youth Ministry Access for April

April
Celebrating the Season of Easter with Young People Sessions for the Easter Season Egg-xactly! Uniquely and Wonderfully Made by Rosy Hartz Seek and You will Find: A Competitive Online Scavenger Hunt by Peter Bierer (high school) Baptism: Reject Satan Choose Jesus by Sr. Kieran Sawyer SSND (high school) Body Building: Helping Youth Explore and Experi...
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Showing up for Lent

Barren Fig Tree
As we are about halfway through Lent, it is helpful to review our progress and journey so far. Some of us begin with bold and ambitious goals in how we are going to serve others and how we are going to pray. While my plans haven't panned out the way I would always like, there is some rich awareness developing in this Lenten season.  This Sunda...
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Best of Youth Ministry Access for June

YMA-Monthly-Highlights---The-Best-of-YMA
Celebrating Feast Days with Young People June 9 - Pentecost Sunday Appreciating Diversity: Let the Spirit Lead the Way by Evelyn Gonzalez (high school) Celebrating the Spirit: Preparing for Pentecost (An Intergenerational Learning Experience) by Mariette Martineau (high school and middle school) God the Holy Spirit: The Power of Pentecost in the Ch...
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Best of Youth Ministry Access for May

May
Honoring May Feast Days May 10 - St. Damien de Veuster of Moloka'i Praying with Saint Damien de Veuster of Molokai by Robert Feduccia (high school) May 10 - Ascension of Jesus The Ascension: Continuing the Good News by Cheryl Tholcke (high school) Rise Up! Fun with Balloons by Ann Marie Eckert (high school) Go Fly a Kite! By Brenda Cline (middle sc...
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