Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 21, 2009
Red Deer parish to launch full-time youth ministry
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
RED DEER - St. Mary's Parish is taking the first step towards the establishment of a full-time, formal youth ministry to serve its 2,600 families.
The largest Catholic parish in the archdiocese outside of the Edmonton area, St. Mary's has had volunteer youth ministry in the past, but now sees the need to hire a full-time youth minister to be supplemented by volunteers.
FULL-TIME YOUTH MINISTRY
At its final meeting in June before the summer break, council voted to take the first step towards full-time youth ministry by launching a campaign to raise $75,000 by the end of October.
"If the families at St. Mary's are serious that they see the need and want a full time youth ministry then we should have no difficulty in raising the money," said Adriana Lagrange, parish council chairperson.
To date the parish has raised more than a third of the needed amount through cheques and pledges.
"And that's happened over the summer when it's difficult to communicate because there is no bulletin and families are away," said fundraising co-coordinator Rod Stafford-Mayer. "Now that school is back and people are back into a routine, I don't think we'll have any difficulty raising the full amount," he said.
Father Les Drewicki, pastor of St. Mary's who has had experience with youth ministry in Olds says the key to success is the involvement of parents and volunteers to supplement the paid staff. Parish council set the $75,000 target, not only to provide for paid staff and program materials, but to provide seed money for future years.
"This can't be seen as a one-off effort," said Stafford-Mayer. "The $75,000 gets us started, but we will need an ongoing financial commitment from the parish going forward."
"A good portion of the 2,600 families registered have children," said Lagrange. "You can see it every Sunday when Father calls forth the children to make their offerings of pennies and nickels. The future of our church lies with our youth and we need to get serious about programs for them."
NEW YEAR GOAL
Following completion of the financial campaign, parish council will then decide the next step and begin the search for a qualified youth ministry coordinator. "If everything falls into place, we could be in a position to start early in the New Year," said Lagrange.
On Saturday Oct. 3, St. Mary's will host a concert with Christian recording artist Steve Bell. Tickets for the concert are $15 and are on sale at the parish office, Scott's Parables Christian store and on line at stevebell.com. Proceeds from the concert will go towards youth ministry at St. Mary's.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.