Youth Ministry throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit is guided by Unleash the Gospel and accompanies and engages adolescents as they encounter Jesus Christ, grow closer to Him, and share their witness through word and action.
“The youth and young adults of our local Church have a particular call, which the Church wholeheartedly supports, to bring the light of the Gospel into southeast Michigan. They have a unique ability to reach the people of their own generation, and they can help us think in new ways. We must make every effort to encourage, challenge, mentor, and raise up the young to take up their rightful roles in the mission of the Church, entrusting responsibility to them as appropriate.” Unleash the Gospel, Marker 5.4
It takes a whole church to minister to adolescents! This comprehensive approach is not a single program or recipe for ministry. The comprehensive approach uses all our resources as a faith community-- people, ministries, programs-- in a common effort to promote the goals of the Church's ministry with adolescents:
- To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
- To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
- To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.
In the 2019 apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit, Pope Francis shares his insights on the accompaniment, engagement, and vocational mission of youth. It is intentionally written “to young people and to the entire people of God”.
- 10 Things in Christus Vivit Addressed to All of Us Who Work with Young People
- A closer look at Renewing the Vision – Then and Now: Living the Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry
- National Pastoral Guidebook for the Global Celebration of Young People
- Prayer for Youth and Young Adults
Archdiocese of Detroit Resources
The Archdiocese of Detroit provides specific resources to utilize as a Youth Ministry Leader. They find their roots in the Unleash the Gospel Pastoral Letter, and focus on the encounter, grow and witness paradigm in youth ministry. There is a knowledge base, free courses, a study guide to use for teens and more to assist you in your ministry with the young church.
- Spark Knowledge Base of Ideas and Best Practices – With Spark, you will find ideas and resources for all three stages of the Encounter/Grow/Witness paradigm as well as ministry suggestions for the Family and Parish Action Steps defined in Unleash the Gospel. This tool is managed by the AOD Department of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship and is intended to be a living resource that continues to grow and evolve as new programs are published and new ideas are brought forth.
Once in Spark, choose “teens” under the “audience” tab to find Youth Ministry resources and ideas.
- Free online courses - Check out these free online courses designed to assist parishes in being more effective in their evangelization efforts and to access new resources. We highly recommend taking the two courses listed here, either with your parish staff or individually.
- Living the Mission as a Lay Disciple, A Personal Journey of Encounter, Grow, Witness
- Detroit Model of Evangelization
- Youth Ministry in Families of Parishes
- A Study Guide for Teens – To help teens break open Archbishop Vigneron’s Pastoral Letter Unleash the Gospel, we have created this study guide. Knowing that it is helpful to look to models of our faith to help us grow in our own holiness, the reflection questions look at how Blessed Solanus Casey lived his life in ways that Unleash the Gospel challenges us to live out our faith.
- Priestly Vocations Office - The Director of Priestly Vocations, Fr. Craig Giera, is available to preach at Masses and visit (in person or virtual) youth ministry offerings. Fr. Craig asks that we all please pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary for priestly vocations and help spread the word to do so! Contact the Office of Priestly Vocations at [email protected].
Archdiocese of Detroit Sponsored Events/Opportunities
There are formation opportunities for youth and adult leaders that are offered or sponsored by the Archdiocese of Detroit throughout the year. You will find highlighted events below. Please be sure to check out the Mighty Network and YM Spotlight resources (sign up with the information below) for more as well!
- Walk Among the Saints Banners - This indoor display consists of 27 banners featuring 28 total saints and is available for use by your parish/school. Parishes/schools would put them on display so people can walk among the banners to learn more about many saints. A pdf booklet can be sent to you to print for your participants. If you are interested, contact [email protected] with some possible dates.
- NET Retreats - The National Scheduling Coordinator for the National Evangelization Team (NET) will be scheduling each of the NET retreats for Archdiocese of Detroit parishes and schools. Please be sure to contact NET asap if you would like to book this great retreat ministry for your parish/school.
- Engaging the Young Church Conference – September 22-23, 2023. All who minister with younger and older adolescents are invited to the Engaging the Young Church Conference at St. Anastasia on Friday and Saturday, September 22-23, 2023. This year's theme is Anchored in Christ, Strengthened by the Holy Spirit. During the conference, there will be opportunities to hear inspiring presentations, participate in small groups, pray together, and engage in workshop presentations. Please see this link for registration information.
- Save the date:
- Come, Encounter Christ for Youth and Families – Sunday, October 22, 2023
- Global Celebration of Young People – November 25 & 26, 2023
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day – January 13, 2024
- St. John Bosco Prayer Initiative – January 28-February 3, 2024
- RISE Detroit 2024 – Sunday, February 4, 2024
Evaluate Your Parish's Efforts
Taking the time to evaluate a parish’s youth ministry efforts is extremely important to the overall success of each initiative set forth. We need to learn from our past efforts and strive to make our endeavors with young people continually better and more effective.
- Comprehensive Youth Ministry Assessment Tool Utilizing Christus Vivit and Unleash the Gospel
- Elements of a Model for Dynamic Youth Ministry Description and Assessment
- Evaluation Tool for a Variety of Youth Ministry Programming
- The Real Youth Ministry Count Tool
Additional Resources for Leaders
Abuse Prevention - Safe Environments
- Background Screening and Code of Conduct Forms
- Central Registry Clearance Requests
- Workshops: Protecting God's Children Training
- Workshops: Called to Serve
- Volunteer Code of Conduct (2020)
Health and Safety
Racism, Equal Justice, Catholic Social Teaching and More
- Some Resources to Use on the Topic of Racism
- PDF of Prayers to Overcome Racism
- AOD Racism Resources Memo
- CRS Education – An asset that provides a deeper look into the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world with prayers and programs
- CRS Resource – A collection of ministry tools for prayer, formation and action with a global perspective
Get connected as a leader
As a Youth Ministry Leader, you are encouraged to stay connected to the Youth Ministry Team and to one another. There is a weekly YM Spotlight email to help you unleash the Gospel with adolescents. If you would like to sign up to receive this email, sign up here.
The Youth Ministry Mighty Network is a platform that fosters authentic community and collaboration among Catholic Lay Ecclesial Ministers according to Archbishop Vigneron's Unleash the Gospel letter as a result from Synod 16. Join and share youth ministry resources and ideas with other leaders. You can also add events offered at your parish or share resources with other ministry leaders as well.
If you have any questions or good resources to share, contact us at [email protected].
A Prayer for Youth and Young Adults
Jesus Christ, King of the Universe,
to you we turn in humble prayer.
Look with favor upon all young people,
bearers of hope for the Church and the world.
Jesus Christ, companion of youth and young adults,
bless the paths of discovery and discernment,
through times of joy and experiences of hardship,
with the constant love and support of your Church.
Jesus Christ, alive in the hearts of all your people,
grant that we may “journey together, young and old…
to nourish our enthusiasm, cause dreams to emerge,
awaken prophesies and enable hope to blossom.” *
Jesus Christ, Redeemer of all Humankind,
open our hearts to encounter all young people,
to accompany and be in community together,
and as one Church, embark upon our holy mission.
Jesus Christ, in the company of the Father and the Holy Spirit,
graciously hear our prayer and be with us forevermore.
* Pope Francis, Christus Vivit, 199