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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 6, 1992     The Message
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November 6, 1992

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6, 1992 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 |n By RICK ETIENNE Director of Youth Ministry Diocese of Evansville Trips to theme parks, canoeing, pizza parties the goal of such activities in youth ministry is not readily apparent to the occasional observer. Is youth ministry just a glorified "babysitting" ser- vice? Is it just an attempt to provide more activi- ees for our young people? What is the reason for seemingly endless string of social affairs? In youth ministrv, communitv buildin is the start!ng point. The basic assumption is thai'until youth feel accepted they are not receptive to the other messages that the adult faith community mhaY wish to share with them. The main reason It nat young adults -- especially Catholics -- have ueen so vulnerable to cult recruiting is the sense of warmth and acceptance that young people ex- perience when exposed to the cult. Can we not !earn from the past that it is this sense of belong- g and acceptance that first attracts young pee- p e to any movement? , But the fact still remains that we can t stop there! Community building is only a vehicle to eventually share the gospel message and our Youth Ministry-- Just playing with kids? Catholic traditions with our young members. It is the "tilling of the soil" to make it receptive to "the seeds of faith" that will eventually be "scat- tered about." The challenge is to find a balance between community building and the other ex- periences that offer those whol on any given day, are ready for something "meatier" (I Cot. 2, 3a) And one need only speak to the parents of a teenager to learn that young people don't need more activity. Our young people have many sports leagues, clubs and other groups who are seeking their time and energy. What our young people need is activities with meaning  activi- ties that are intentionally planned to stretch their faith experience -- events that encourage them to ask their faith questions. Because it is only when they have begun to seek answers to their ques- tions that the journey will become their own and thereby have the potential of life-long faith de- velopment. Eventually, the goal of youth ministry is to enable young people to adopt for themselves those processes which the adult faith community would have exposed them to -- eventually attain- ing the knowledge, skills and motivation to con- tinue the work of the Church. If we are only providing a "babysitting" ser- vice then we are doing a disservice to them and to ourselves. The number of alternative projects to keep young people "busy" is endless. We need experiences that capture their religious imagina- tion. We need people who can model for them what it means to be a mature Christian -- adults they can look to for faithful answers to complex questions. And after a closer look it becomes apparent that the young people are not all that different from the adult faith community. Aren't the num- bers greater when a parish has a social than when there is an adult religious education offering? And when the director of religious education or the pastor asks for volunteers aren't the number of people who step forward to serve even smaller still? Can we expect more of our youth? I I I I I Diocesan Youth Office Rick Etienne heads one person office at the Catholic Center is he. Office of Youth Min- . , Is a one person office in the .D!OCese of Evansville. alck Etienne is the current director of the office. He is fa,00o00 o, 1983. He has a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Brescia College and a Master's degree in Theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology. junior high- and high school- age contacts, high school campus ministry people and Catholic parish-sponsored Boy and Girl Scout groups Ftienne has been in profes- Etienne is the diocesan Direct services to adults in- sional outh mm contact person for parish clude providing information . Y " istry since youth ministry coordinators, regarding diocesan, regional, I ! ! .... ! I .L Frank Sherrard of Bloomfield is the winner of a dinner for two at the Radisson Inn,  ! C,,-sy)ue. His entry was oicked at random from 35 correct entries received in last month's ! I uul01ic lhd. -- -- _ -klr, ,4. A ,L,, . " | I vin..%, herrard and others correctly matched deans and deaneries: Father Jean Vogler, Evans- l ] je t;.Father Raymond Brenner, Evansville West, Father Patrick Foster, Jasper; Father I [ toai l'ak, Newburgh; Father Michael Madden, Princeton; Father Leo Kiesel, Washing- l le r,,auler Donald Ackerman, Vincennes. ! ,, .... e eleventh Synod ,,oal" mentioned by Sister Louise Bond, S N J M, deals with I I ,oasa pastoral counc(ls, o  .... ! ! OVerU, You know the answers to the followihg questions, you may win your choice of l I Ville"") .octging for two or an afternoon pool party for eight at the Radisson Inn, Evans- ! i 47-. ntnes should be received bv Nov 18, at the Messa e, P 0 Box 4169, Evansville, IN I I "-Olfi9. - ' g " " I I I I I 1. What is the first thin,, leaders of narishes and other faith communities can do to moti- [ rate Others to actively participate, accoriing to Sister Louise Bond? i I I ! I ! ] 2. Where will the new members of the Brute Society be initiated? I I I I I I I I 3, When will the "Special Sunday for Synod" be celebrated? I Your name Address _ ii i ii II I C' I ty/State/Zip I -- I I I Telephone , li I I I I ' 1 ! and national youth ministry events to key-contact persons, on-site training to parish youth ministry commissions, and providing specific infor- mation for parishes upon request, i.e., planning processes, needs assessments, etc. - Direct services to youth in- clude organizing and coordi- nating a Peer Leadership Weekend for key youth lead- ers and coordinating the semi-annual diocesan Youth Days. The greatest successes of the Youth Office in the recent past, according to Etienne, in- clude the establishment of a TEC movement in the dio- cese, a two year {eight ses- sion) training course in basic youth ministry, and the revi- talization of the Diocesan Youth Commission. One of the elements that was lacking in the diocese until recently was a vehicle to assist older adolescents in taking responsibility for their own faith development. Teens Encounter Christ (TEC} has filled this "gap." The unique element that TEC of- fers to older adolescents is an extended time period to stop the "busy-ness" of life to de- termine where they've been and what they'd like to fie with the future, to study their life in perspective of the Paschal Mystery. The number of people who have been a[- fected by this one program is over 150 and growing. A long-term vision of the office is to have fully-func- tioning -- perhaps self-sup- porting -- youth ministry structures in the seven deaneries. Presently, there are youth minist-related groups who meet in the Evansville West, Jasper, Princeton and Vincennes deaneries. Etienne is also excited about the international youth gathering in conjunction with the Papal Visit scheduled for August 1993 in Denver. He said that the youn] people of the diocese will have an op- portunity to come together as the young members of the Catholic Church and cele- brate our common faith,