How can we quench our thirst for God? Saying yes to opportunities to learn more about Jesus Christ is one way we can “seek a well of living water”. By collaborating with fellow parishioners, we can build a stronger church and help our community. How can we pass this message on to our children? Today, many churches face challenges in attracting youth participation. Encouraging our children to contribute to their faith community is more crucial then ever. Last weekend the Youth choir was thrilled to sing for the 2nd Sunday of Lent. It is such a blessing to have youth in our parish that enjoy participating in mass.
St. Barbara Catholic Church is fortunate enough to have many ways for our youth to get involved and serve Christ. Our Youth Choir is just one of the many ways children can support the mass and learn more about the liturgy. Youth choir runs during the school year from September to May. The choir sings for four masses during the year spanning 4 different liturgical seasons. The youth prepare for singing at mass by rehearsing twice a month with instruments. We are always welcoming more participants to share their love of music and grow with Christ. Singing during mass is a great way for children to learn the order of the mass and how music plays an integral part. Youth Choir is not the only avenue for children to participate during the mass. St. Barbara Parish is blessed to have several students volunteer as altar servers. Altar servers help facilitate the mass along with Father and other volunteer adults. To become an alter server you must receive the sacrament of communion.
Altar servers just starting out will have the opportunity to shadow and learn how to support Father during mass. Volunteering as an altar server is a wonderful way for youth to get a front seat perspective of what happens during the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the eucharist. When youth play an active role during mass their focus is on the word of God, and they are more motivated to take part in other aspects of the church. If your child is not interested in participating in mass there are other ways to get involved in the church.
Our community has faith formation classes for students of all ages. Children can foster relationships with other children and learn how to be disciples of Jesus Christ. As Catholics we are called to spread God’s word, by attending faith formation classes children can learn about the Lord’s messages on their own terms. St. Barbara Catholic Church offers Sunday School for preschool aged children and students that have yet to receive their first eucharist. If you are old enough to complete the sacrament of communion you can prepare with classes each Sunday to achieve this important milestone. Students that have already received First Communion may take faith formation classes and expand on their knowledge.
Lastly, older students in middle school and high school can gather with like minded youth in Youth Group. These opportunities are excellent in helping children create friendships with in their church. St. Barbara Catholic Church strives to create multiple chances for youth to gather and celebrate God. On March 17th the parish will be hosting a Stations of the Cross event for youth. Following this Stations of the Cross event geared for our youth their will be a potluck for families. If you are new to the parish or a long-time parishioner this is the perfect time to come and meet other families and children that attend St. Barbara Parish. Building relationships in the church help us to build a stronger Catholic community.
- Katie Baker