Hello, I am Amy Chestine, and this is Ralph Chestine, and we assist with the youth group.
Father asked us to give an update on our United youth group and how it relates to the annual appeal, since we began a year ago one of our youth leaders, Abby Jacobo, is taking the youth minister certification classes through the archdiocese, she received a scholarship to attend a two-year program to assist our parish in helping develop our youth programs. Without the annual Catholic appeal, the archdiocese wouldn't be able to offer that service.
Later, at our planning meetings she shares what she learned with the other volunteers. The archdiocese also holds free formation workshops and retreats for youth ministers.
Our youth have attended the high school convention which is put on by the archdiocese with dynamic speakers and wonderful experiences for our youth.
The archdiocese also presents many retreats and camps for the youth. Most especially the ascend leadership camp that several of our youth attended, all of these offer financial assistance from the archdiocese.
The youth have assisted with many service projects this year giving back to the community and we appreciate all the support and assistance you have given them.
Through the parish survey we completed a few years ago, youth was one of the top priorities and the archdiocese recognizes this and has put many resources together to aid us.
We would like to ask you to help support and donate to the annual appeal for all the unseen good and support they provide individual parishes.
Good evening the 2017 annual Catholic Appeal theme is a future full of hope
Our future is our youth and we have hope that they will be Orthodox in their faith in their actions through the Holy Spirit and the teachings of our church.
We have brought together the parish communities the Spanish and English speaking youth and adults to form the United youth group. We regularly have 30 to 40 children participating during our bimonthly catechesis.
We are using Matthew Kelly's decision point youth program augmented by resources provided by the arch diocese.
This week the youth are learned about The prayer process the importance of quiet during prayer and focus on our lord.
Our parish youth made and distributed over 240 lunches to the homeless and provided food for their pets assisting with local nonprofit Becks Place
The Youth have donated and gave of their time to sell desserts at the Sana show which provided money for orphanages and the Mary bloom center
Our youth have assisted our local Saint Vincent DePaul group to provide dinner to the parish and the homeless
The youth group has spent an hour in front of the blessed sacrament In adoration while also attending confession
I would like to remind everyone that we are always in need of adult, young or old support to assist with our youth meetings, adoration, conventions and other activities
I would like to close with a prayer
Create in our hearts a deep spirit of gratitude for the many blessings You have given to us. Help us to see those in our community who need our time, talent and treasures and help us to be generous.
We ask You to bless the Annual Catholic Appeal which gathers the gifts that are offered to You and strives to fulfill the needs of so many. We ask that you bless our youth with kind and loving hearts and minds to see the truth and to always put you first. We ask this through Jesus the Christ our Lord and savior
Here is text of Abby's talk:
My name is Abby Jacobo. My husband and I serve in our parishes United Youth Group. September 12 2016; a day I will never forget. This was our first youth Ministry gathering. We met in room 8. I recall being so excited but at the same time so nervous. I remember asking one of our leaders, Amy Chestine around 6:45 pm. Do you think they will show up? How many kiddos do you think we will get? We both agreed may be 10-15. Five minutes passed, and about five kids walked in through the doors, we were so happy to greet our youth and as each minute passed the number of youth walking in room 8 increased. As I greeted youth and handed out registration forms to parents I would glimpse inside and look at other leaders standing in awe and amazement. I was just immensely overjoyed of what I was witnessing. By 7:00 our small little room was packed with 36 kids with barely any space to get around. All those nerves and anxiety I was feeling went away by looking at all these kids, their enthusiasm, their smiles, and their desire to learn was contagious.
Our Youth ministry coordinating team invested so much time, effort, dedication and energy in putting this ministry together. We had so many meetings prior to the commencement of the ministry but it was all so worth it. It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit works. How He has guided and brought resources and help when we need it.
The archdiocese of Seattle was very instrumental in the development of St. Mary’s youth ministry. They provide formation for New Youth ministers. The formation is designed to provide reflection on relevant church documents, connections and community between those new to youth ministry, practical skills for ministry and leadership, and orientation to diocesan policies and procedures. I cannot forget to mention; this is free thanks to the Annual Catholic Appeal
We are blessed to be part of an archdiocese that cares so much for the spiritual and personal needs of our young people and one that supports youth ministers and youth leaders in so many ways. The archdiocese brought a certification program to Seattle. It equips leaders with the knowledge, skills, practical tools, and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive ministry with youth. I am currently achieving this certification in youth ministry studies and I am very grateful to the archdiocese of Seattle for giving me a scholarship. The financial help that I was able to receive from the archdiocese is because of the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Our youth at St. Mary of the Valley benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal as well. We participate in events at the diocesan level such as Catholic Youth Convention, Junior High Rally, Leadership training for our youth such as Ascend, and CYO camps. The Archdiocese can put on these events for our youth thanks to the Annual Catholic Appeal. These events have contributed to spiritual and personal growth of our young people in tremendous ways. And as a minister, I am grateful for them and I am sure that many parents feel the same.
Gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal support more than 60 ministers and services throughout Western Washington such as Catholic Community Services, retired priests’ medical benefits, seminarians, tribunal faith formation, CYO camps, Catholic schools and much more.
Your support is essential to the mission of the church. Together we can make a difference; together we can make an impact that touches the lives of so many through the Annual Catholic Appeal. Today, I invite you to make your pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Any gifts of any amount are welcome. If you are not doing so already, please consider giving a dollar a day that is $365 a year
There are many ways to fulfill your pledge which are listed on the pledge envelopes found in the pews.
If you can’t support financially, you can support with prayers and so we ask you to fill out the envelope anyways and write down prayers..
Thank you for your time, support, and generosity
I would like to end with this year’s annual Catholic Appeal Theme which serves us as a beautiful reminder of the impact of community.
When We come together, We create a Future full of Hope
God bless you all