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The Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries supports parish ministries

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While the Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries puts on several big events each year — the high school youth RALLY, WorkCamp, Life is Very Good — Director Kevin Bohli said they are trying to do much more.

“Our main goal is to support the parishes to be doing more effective ministry, so we do a lot of trainings, we have the training certificate program, and so much of what we’re doing is trying to form strong directors of youth ministry in the parishes,” said Bohli. “That is where the best ministry is going to happen.”

Bohli said part of his task is to help parishes hire a full-time youth minister, train them and help them sustain the ministry for many years to come.

The office’s theme this year is “Run This Race,” which comes from Pope Francis’ latest document, “Christus Vivit.” The logo is of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, with the race being part of the church, according to Bohli.

“Throughout this year, we hope you will use ‘Christus Vivit’ in your ministry with young people. We hope you will invite young people to become ‘protagonists of change’ in your ministry and in your community,” wrote Bohli in a letter to parish youth ministry directors. “We hope you will encourage young people to experience the joy of a life in Christ within his church. Be a witness of our beautiful Catholic faith to young people. Run This Race.”

New this year is a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, Italy, July 25-Aug. 1, 2020. With the next World Youth Day in 2022 in Portugal, Bohli said they wanted to offer an opportunity for an international experience for youths who wouldn’t have the opportunity before the next World Youth Day.

 “It is an opportunity for young people to go and experience the bigger church,” said Bohli. “There will be times of prayer and retreat.”

They hope to have 100 youths sign up through their parishes so they can experience the pilgrimage with a group. “Our message is to get involved with your parish ministry and talk to your ministry directors,” said Bohli.

RALLY for high school students is Oct. 20 at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. Kris Frank, the keynote speaker, lives with his family as missionaries serving youths through Vagabond Missions. The music will be provided by the Sarah Kroger Band.

Life is VERY Good is Jan. 23-24, 2020. The evening of prayer prior to the March for Life will feature Immaculée Ilibagiza, Paul George and the band ALOB. The morning rally and Mass will feature Paul George and ALOB.

Bohli said his office continues to work with young people with disabilities.

“We’ve had good success this past year both at BASH and WorkCamp,” he said. 

“At BASH (this year) we had a sensory room where they could hang out and spend quiet time away from everything. At WorkCamp we had several with special needs, one was nearly blind.”

BASH will be April 25, 2020, at O’Connell for sixth through eighth graders.

WorkCamp is June 20-26, with the location not yet determined.

Young adults are invited to Farm Brew Live in Manassas May 3, 2020, for Young Adult Day.

The office is offering a training Oct. 3 at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas for directors of youth ministry on how to minister to young people with disabilities. “When you’re doing an event and someone shows up in a wheelchair, does that mean everything has to stop or everything you planned has to change? Or can you figure out a way to incorporate them,” said Bohli.

The office also will have a training session led by Marry Hasson on transgenderism Nov. 12 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna. “It’s becoming more of a concern,” said Bohli. “We need to know how to pastorally care for the young person and family in the parish.”

The office also will train youth ministers on how to deal with the opioid crisis led by Michael Horne, director of clinical services for Catholic Charities, March 3, 2020, at St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel in Fairfax.

For Scouts, the Catholic Family Campout will be March 27-29, 2020, at Camp Snyder in Haymarket.

The Northern Virginia Junior Catholic Youth Organization championship cross country meet will be at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria Nov. 2.

The office trains parents and coaches on sports, using the Play Like a Champion training out of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

“It is not about winning, it is sharing Christ with young people through athletics and showing them good sportsmanship,” said Bohli.  “The real focus should be there.”

Find out more

Go to arlingtondiocese.org/Youth-Ministry/Calendar/ for other important dates. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019