Catholic Youth Ministry Office

A ministry for junior high and high school students

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Catholic Youth Ministry responds to needs of young people and encourages the sharing of their unique gifts with the larger community. Efforts are directed at fostering the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person and drawing young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community. To learn more, see Events and Services.

"What is needed today is a Church which knows how to respond to the expectation of young people. Jesus wants to enter into dialogue with them and, through his body which is the Church, to propose the possibility of a choice which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the Church must become today the traveling companion of young people ... ” (Pope John Paul II; "Youth: Sent to Proclaim True Liberation," World Youth Day 1995, Philippines).

Dear young people, Jesus is waiting for you. Do not be afraid to look into his eyes. Open yourselves to his merciful gaze, so ready to forgive all your sins. A look from him can change your lives and heal the wounds of your souls. — Pope Francis, World Youth Day message, 2016

The U.S. bishops accepted the challenge of the Holy Father and stated their response in the form of a written document titled "Renewing the Vision" (1997, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). This publication offers three essential goals regarding the Church’s ministry with adolescents: Empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today; draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community; and foster the personal and spiritual growth of each young person. 

"Renewing the Vision" offers a practical framework for using the resources of the entire faith community, and integrates ministry with adolescents and their families into the total life and mission of the Church. (Renewing the Vision, 2)

For more than 50 years, the Diocese of Little Rock has been responding to the needs of young people in the Catholic Church in Arkansas through the efforts of a diocesan Youth Ministry Office. Today, the office continues to respond to the needs of our Catholic youth and parish youth ministry directors through a variety of services.

Just as Jesus sent out the disciples to carry out his mission, today he sends out young people to proclaim the Good News and to build a world that is more just, more peaceful and more respectful of human life and creation. The Church must empower young people for their mission and ensure they are equipped to live active Christian discipleship and Catholic identity. (Renewing the Vision, 49-50)