Pope Francis has asked that Catholics worldwide spend this coming Saturday, September 7th in intense fasting and prayer for the intention of a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, and for the millions of men, women, and children who are suffering as a result of the violence in their country. Detroit's Archbishop Allen Vigneron also released a statement this morning asking that Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit join in this day of prayer alongside the worldwide Catholic community. Archbishop Vigneron wrote:
“We join with Christians and people of good will around the world in ardent prayer for peace in Syria. The Syrian people have suffered terrible violence, loss and displacement. We ask for God’s healing and protection for them, and to strengthen all those who are bringing humanitarian aid to them in this time of such crisis. Our hope is that, with God’s grace through the intercession of St. Mary, Queen of Peace, those who have the power to do so may bring this terrible situation in Syria to a peaceful end.” MORE.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has also released a statement calling on Catholics in the United States to heed the Pope's call. You can read Cardinal Dolan's statement and view other resources regarding the Crisis in Syria from the USCCB here. The Catholic News Agency also has more information here.
If you want to get started early, remember that Saint John Neumann has Eucharistic Adoration in the Tabernacle Chapel on Fridays from 9:30am-6:30pm. Stop by and pray for Peace!
Below is an excerpt from my bulletin article dated 8/11/2013. The planning meeting described within has been scheduled for 8/28/2013 at 7:00pm. Please let me know if you are interested in attending!
Why volunteer with Middle School Youth Ministry?
There is not a shortage of activities for our young people to get involved in. We live in a community that is blessed to have an active school district, a wonderful parks program, numerous athletic leagues, scouting organizations, community service groups and civic organizations. This means that there is not a shortage of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of young people. Volunteering with Youth Ministry is a unique way to do this!
We all know that there are fewer and fewer places of unconditional acceptance in our world, and ensuring that St. John Neumann remains one of those places for our young people is the task of ALL OF US-- but youth ministry volunteers take special charge of this task. They drive, they cook, they plan activities, they facilitate meetings, but most of all they build relationships. These relationships are the foundation upon which they share their faith and introduce young people to Jesus Christ and His Church.
This month I have been recruiting a Middle School Youth Group Adult Team—a mix of diverse individuals who will support one another and unite their talents in service to our middle school students. A handful of volunteers have already stepped forward and I am really excited to witness alongside them! The ideal team size would be 7-8 volunteers, and I am looking for a few more (volunteers must be at least 16)! If this is something you are interested in learning more about, please contact me. I will invite all interested volunteers together at the end of the month to discuss the program and brainstorm a way forward, no commitments need be made before that meeting.
Please spend some time in prayer as you consider becoming a Youth Ministry volunteer. Together we have a lot to offer our young people, and TOGETHER we will ensure that our parish remains a place of unconditional acceptance where they can fall in love with Jesus Christ and His Church. I look forward to hearing from some of you! God bless us all!
(734) 455-5910 x 20
The 2013 Peer Leadership Training Camp was a success! Thank you to everyone who prayed for and supported us during the past week. I must begin this post by thanking the alumni of the Saint John Neumann Youth Ministry program for their hard work and dedication in preparing this event- Sidney Bowerman, Jason Brown, Adam Handley, and Sarah Pfannes. These four amazing young people planned and facilitated educational sessions, inspired our incoming team with testimonies of their youth group experience, and have left their youth ministry program on strong footing for the coming year! I cannot thank them enough, especially for all of the times they had to patiently explain things to me because-- being the new guy-- I just didn't understand yet. They are awesome and our parish is forever in their debt.Adam and Erin make spaghetti.
Our participants were challenged intellectually, spiritually, and personally in numerous sessions and challenges. Session topics included: Scriptural Foundations for Leadership, Proactive Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Small Group Facilitation, Prayer Leadership, and more! The group also completed numerous small group challenges-- even successful cooking six meals with various limitations (no sight, no talking, hands behind their backs). The team approached each session and challenge with an open mind and grew visibly as a result of their hard work.
The camp also included various prayer opportunities including Holy Mass, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Lectio Divina, and a guided meditation. Following the guided meditation (based on the Call of Andrew from St. Matthew's Gospel) one participant told me that he had "never felt closer to God" than he had in prayer that evening! The staff of the DeSales Center also asked that we continue having retreats in their facilities because they enjoyed our young people's participation in the Mass so much. Go Neumann!
There was also a lot of time for laughter during the week. I honestly cannot remember the last time I have laughed so hard or for so long! The joy that God has instilled in this leadership team is as contagious as it is inspiring! There was even some mischief (see below):
Overall I could not have asked for a better Leadership Team or a better Leadership Camp. This group of young people will guide the High School Youth Group during the coming year by focusing their leadership on four components-- Guidance/Healing, Justice/Service, Community Life, and Word/Worship. They will also be key players in the Men's and Women's Ministries, and Faith UNwrapped. Finally, they will represent the young people of the parish on the Parish Council and on numerous other commissions. When I asked them if they were ready to take on this task, the answer was a resounding, "YES!" Please join me in praying for them and supporting them this coming year!
Hello everyone! My name is Chris and I am the new youth minister here at SJN Canton! I want to begin by thanking Mary, Fr. Ron, the teen leaders, the adult team, and everyone who has welcomed me and worked hard to make sure that the transition of youth ministers has gone smoothly. I am very grateful for their hard work and am excited to work at such a supportive parish!
I was born and raised here in Canton (attended Hoben, Discovery, FGR Ann Arbor, and Madonna University where I earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Pastoral Care). For the past five years I have lived in Chicago while working on a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work through Loyola Chicago and the Catholic Theological Union. I am kind of a professional student!Me working at the Peacebuilders Initiative
Youth ministry has been my passion since I was in high school myself. I attended the LIFE TEEN program at OLGC in Plymouth during high school and went on to coordinate that program in college. While in Chicago I served my parish and the archdiocese as a domestic violence minister, a crisis counselor, and a youth bereavement counselor. Here in Detroit I was also a part of the AOD's Ministry to Incarcerated Youth. After all of that though, I am really excited to be back in parish ministry!
I am pretty laid back-- my hobbies include reading, sitting on porches, and making playlists on any music app I can get my hands on. I also enjoy spending time with my family (my parents also live here in Canton, and my sisters live in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids). Not sure what else to tell you about myself, I look forward to getting to know everyone better in the coming weeks and months!
I am a strong believer in parish-based youth ministry but also know that true training for discipleship happens at home in the family. So I look forward to working with both the teens and the parents in this parish! If you are around this summer I would love to meet you-- give me a call or stop by the youth ministry office to introduce yourself!