Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 9:52 PM
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Youth Formation Letter 2012

Dear Friends, Pope Benedict XVI recently announced for the Church a “Year of Faith” that begins this October and culminates in November of 2013. During this year the entire Church is focused on leading Catholics of all ages toward a renewed “aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.” (Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, 9). We are all challenged by the Holy Father to seek out new ways to teach faith, inspire greater faith in all our brothers and sisters and be renewed in the beauty and majesty of the faith of the Apostles which we all boldly profess every Sunday. In answering this high calling, we must all play a role in supporting one another and contributing our energies, time and efforts to the Church’s mission of “baptizing all nations.” It is with this in mind that I am very pleased to present to you our new approach to transmitting our faith to this new generation of young Catholics. Over the past year we have been diligently working hard to refocus our mission and resources into a new vision for catechesis and ministry to young people. The new Youth Formation Program at St. John’s integrates a comprehensive formation program that not only involves catechetical instruction, but also human, spiritual and pastoral formation, a more holistic approach to meeting the challenges of the New Evangelization in the modern world. This endeavor is implemented in three programs, The Ark (for students in Kindergarten – 5th Grade), The Edge (for Middle School students) and Life Teen (for High School students). These programs, which include Sacramental Preparation, necessarily involves the entire parish community. All of us have a role to play in passing on the heritage of faith to this generation. Each one of you will be asked to contribute your talents and skills to assist us in this important work. Only together can we battle the influences of the increasingly secular modern culture on our young people and give them their one true desire; Jesus Christ. Parents are on the front lines in this new outreach. I ask you to commit yourself to assisting us in the formation of your children. It is vital, that you set the example of faith by bringing your children to Mass on Sunday, making sure that they learn their prayers, fulfill their requirements and attend every weekend without fail. You must make it a firm commitment that even sports or other school related activities cannot supersede. I am pleased to welcome Mike Cleary our new Director of Youth Formation and Jessica Underbrink who joined us midway last year. They are the Pastor’s delegates to lead and direct the formation program. Please do what you can to support their efforts. I am encouraged by the enthusiastic response I have received so far and believe that together we can make this an outstanding formation program. We entrust all the children and youth of this parish to the maternal protection the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christians. In the Lord Jesus, Fr. Vasquez
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