Staying Catholic in College: A Letter to Youth Ministers

Posted by Sarah Wallace on Jun 18, 2020 7:07:00 AM

Dear high school youth ministers, 

Congratulations! Though it has had an ending unlike any other, another successful year is on the books and another amazing group of seniors has been launched from your ministry. While it’s sad to see them go, they’re off to bigger and better things, armed with a wealth of faith and wisdom gained from their youth ministry experiences.

But what is next for them in their life of faith? Will their relationship with Christ and their Catholic faith continue in college and beyond? These are hard but important questions. One Pew study reports that most people who leave the Catholic faith will do so before the age of 24. The same study also states that only 32% of those involved in Catholic youth groups remain Catholic as adults. Like high school, college is a critical time in the faith lives of young people. 

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Topics: college, youth ministry, campus ministry, faith formation

Free Toolkit for Ministers and Parents: Helping Students Discern Their Gifts

Posted by Megan Shepherd on Apr 15, 2020 2:31:31 PM

To engage young people in reflection on their own gifts, the McGrath Institute developed Discerning Your Spiritual Gifts: A Toolkit for Faith Formation as an activity for the McGrath presence at the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2017. Through an interactive questionnaire, young people name the qualities that they identify with, then learn more about twelve saints who embodied these qualities. The resource also provides directions for a keychain activity where young people can create a tangible reminder of the insights gained through participating in this activity. 

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Topics: discipleship, discernment, youth ministry, COVID-19 Resources

A Message to Young People Marching for Life: Be Open

Posted by Emily Froeba on Jan 14, 2020 7:03:00 AM

“To each one of you Christ says: ‘I am sending you.' Why is he sending you? Because men and women the world over—north, south, east and west—long for true liberation and fulfillment. The poor seek justice and solidarity; the oppressed demand freedom and dignity; the blind cry out for light and truth (cf. Luke 4:18). You are not being sent to proclaim some abstract truth. The Gospel is not a theory or an ideology! The Gospel is life! Your task is to bear witness to this life: the life of God’s adopted sons and daughters. Modern man, whether he knows it or not, urgently needs that life – just as two thousand years ago humanity was in need of Christ’s coming; just as people will always need Jesus Christ until the end of time.”

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Topics: pro-life, young people, youth ministry, March for Life

Identity and Belonging in an All-Girls School

Posted by Kiera Stubbs on Jul 24, 2019 7:00:00 PM

The questions “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong?” are complicated for any high schooler, and perhaps even more so for young women attending a competitive, all-girls Catholic school. Sarah Shutrop, Director of Campus Ministry at Immaculate Heart Academy in Bergen County, New Jersey, helps many young women navigate the journey of self-realization and understanding one’s place in the community. On Church Life Today Shutrop discussed how the academic rigor of the college prep school often creates a culture of competition among women, making it difficult to feel a sense of belonging during a particularly formative period of their lives. The increasing influence of social media, especially Instagram, in which one’s image is carefully curated, adds to this problem by making it easier to label and define girls in superficial ways.

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Topics: Catholic education, youth ministry, campus ministry

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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