Youth Ministry Tools

YOUTH MINISTRY LIFE, JUSTICE & PEACE RESOURCES

Youth can be the most impassioned parishioners in our diocese. Their participation in the promotion of Life, Justice, and Peace is crucial for their formation as young Catholics and for the success of a Life, Justice, and Peace ministry.

FIRST! Take this quiz with your youth ministry team to evaluate your youth ministry’s involvement in life, justice, and peace and brainstorm new ideas.

Here are some ways youth can actively protect life, justice, and peace and some resources for youth ministers and youth leaders who seek to incorporate Respect Life and Social Justice into their youth programming.


SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITES

Connect to our website, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

Refer to informative websites:

  • USCCB – The National Office of the Catholic Bishops of the America.
  • USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Dignity – The US Bishop’s office which works to fight the root causes of domestic poverty in our nation.
  • USCCB Pro-Life Activities Office – The National Office of the Catholic Bishops’s which addresses issues threatening the respect of human life from conception to natural death.
  • California Legislative Network – The Catholic Bishops of California engage legislation which threatens reverence for life, human dignity, restorative justice, education, family, marriage, and religious liberty.
  • Catholic Charities-OC – The Orange County Center which serves those in need, strengthens family and community, and supports parish ministries to extend God’s love to all.
  • Catholic Charities- USA – The national Office which supports Catholic agencies throughout the country which provide services to those in need, advocates for justice in social structures, and calls the church and all other people of good will to do the same.
  • Catholic Relief Services – The United States Catholic Church’s international relief services.
  • PovertyUSA –The educative page of the CCHD regarding poverty in America.
  • Youth Pro Life Organizations – An extensive listing of Prolife Organizations, websites, and programs. A special section specifies youth organizations.
  • Diocese of Orange Website –The Official Webpage of the Diocese of Orange.

Encourage youth to sign up for email ACTION ALERTS that will encourage them to take legislative action on pressing Life, Justice, and Peace news.


CURRICULUM

  • Incorporate Catholic Social Teaching into Confirmation or Religious Education curriculum.
  • JUSTICE WALKING– An in-depth social justice program through Just Faith for youth including small groups, volunteer service and prayer.
  • POVERTY USA– Premade American poverty lessons & activities for all grades & EPIC young advocates.
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE LIFE NIGHTS (CatholicYouthMinistry.com & Lifeteen)-  23 Preplanned Youth Nights based on Catholic Social Teaching. Filled with in depth resources, ides, and premade schedules.
  • CRS EDUCATION– Visit the youth educational page of CRS to find materials to support water efforts, peacebuilding, fair trade, hunger, migration, and other issues.
  • USCCB RESOURCES from the office of Justice, Peace, & Human Development
  • DEATH PENALTY CURRICULUM– Catholic Mobilizing Network Youth Curriculum includes Jr. High and high school materials for education on the church’s views on the death penalty
  • RESTORATIVE JUSTICE YOUTH WORKSHOPS – Catholic Mobilizing Network and Our Sunday Visitor created curriculum for a one time workshop on Restorative Justice for tweens and teens.
  • LJP ISSUES PAGES – Use our individual social justice issues pages to address individual Social Justice Issues at youth events
  • CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING DOCUMENTS– Use our Catholic Social Teaching Page to find important documents, quotes, and other writings pertaining to Social Justice
  • Multi-Media Youth Contest is a program for young people in grades 7-12 to learn about poverty in the U.S., its causes, and the response of the Church. After learning, youth become educators of others through their artwork.

TALKS

Invite speakers to attend a youth or confirmation night and give a presentation on Respect Life or Catholic Social Teaching. Any of the local agencies on this page may be able to provide you with speakers.


CHASTITY & SEXUAL INTEGRITY

Include programming in youth or conformation agendas to foster a Catholic perspective on human sexuality, which promotes Life and Justice:


TAKING ACTION

Parish Youth Action Ideas

First, talk to your Parish Respect Life Coordinator and your parish Justice & Peace Representative. Find out ways you can collaborate on projects or programs in which the youth could help volunteer. For instance, invite the youth to join the Parish in 40 Days for Life, Respect Life month, January 22 Prayer Service for Life, and other parish-wide Respect Life activity. Also, Invite the youth to join Parish Justice and Peace efforts including mission trips, advocacy days, and liturgies and prayer services for Social Justice issues. Coordinate efforts with the other ministries of your parish. Here are some other concrete examples of youth parish & community engagement of Social Justice issues.

Engage Poverty, Hunger, Homelessness

  • GROCERY DRIVE (For Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Anytime) – Youth can encourage parishioners to donate canned and nonperishable foods to local food banks with large bins outside masses or take-home food bags. Here are some local food banks you might contact.
  • CALLED TO WITNESS– Short term mission trips with National Catholic Federation for Youth Ministry & Catholic Relief Services.
  • CRS RICE BOWL– Often Times Parishes use the CRS Rice Bowl as a Lenten Collection. Have youth participate by collecting themselves or helping with distribution and collection
  • BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHING DRIVE – Organize a back to school clothing drive in August for the children living in a local shelters or working poor.

Engage Worker’s Rights, Fair Labor, Rights & Responsibilities

  • FAIR TRADE COFFEE– Youth can offer fair-trade coffee after mass, included flyers on the tables relating fair trade to Catholic Social Teaching and talked with guests about fair trade. Sell fair trade coffee as part of the event.
    • Get started with our Diocese Fair Trade Page
    • Equal Exchange Coffee & Products – a movement to support small scale farmers: by the farmers, for the farmers.
    • Earth Friendly Coffee at 303-641-4283 and speak to Diane Hewes. She will send coffee to be sold on consignment. Any unsold coffee can be returned.

Engage Restorative Justice

  • ORANGE COUNTY JUVENILLE HALL is home to hundreds of youth, ages 13-18, throughout the year who are in deep need of love and healing. The Diocese of Orange has a special Catholic Restorative Justice Ministry to the teens in Juvenile Hall providing them opportunities such as mass, pastoral counseling, and bible studies. They are in need of help! There are many ways the youth can help such as sending teens in juvenile hall Christmas or Easter Cards, donating rosaries or bibles, or coming for a one night visit to play games. You would never know what a difference it would make in their lives.

Engage Respect Life

  • PENNIES FROM HEAVEN – Coordinate with your Respect Life Parish Leader to see how the youth can help collect money for our local pregnancy centers and clinics.

Volunteer

Contact local pregnancy clinics, charitable organizations, or social justice groups to coordinate volunteer opportunities for youth. Here are a couple examples:

  • OC CATHOLIC CHARITIES Catholic Charities of Orange County hosts and can refer your youth group to an endless number of service projects in the area.

Engage Disabilities

  • FAIRVIEW DEVLOPMENTAL CENTERYouth can participate in the Catholic Ministry to individuals with developmental disabilities
  • 2501 Harbor Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
  • 714-957-5242
  • Catholic Chaplain – Mary Brosseau mbrossea@fdc.dds.ca.gov

Engage Care for Creation

  • BOLSA CHICA WETLANDS HUNTINGTON BEACH (Anytime) – a variety of habitat restoration projects.
    • Contact at (714) 846-1114 for more information.
  • BACK BAY NEWPORT BEACH (Anytime) – The Back Bay Visitor Center has a variety of involvement opportunities that would focus on “care for creation”.

PRAYER

Keep all issues threatening life, justice, and peace in youth prayers and petitions. Coordinate peaceful prayer vigils in front of abortion clinics for youth. Offer Masses and prayer services for justice and peace issues.


CELEBRATE SPECIAL SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARENESS DAYS WITH YOUR YOUTH GROUP

Hold a special prayer service, include education about these particular issues, or engage the parish with a fundraising or awareness campaign on these particular dates.

  • October – Respect Life Month
  • Oct 5- Respect Life Sunday
  • Oct 26- Domestic Violence Awareness Sunday
  • Dec 28- Feast of the Holy Innocents
  • Jan 1 – World Day of Peace
  • Jan 4- 10 National Migrant Week
  • Jan 11 Human Trafficking Awareness Week
  • Jan 19 MLK Day
  • Jan 22 Anniversary of Roe v Wade
  • Feb 18-Mar 29 40 Days for Life
  • April Child Abuse Protection Month

PASTORAL CARE