A Great Challenge: Reaching Young Men

I thought about what a youth night or small group looks like in many parishes. I recalled conversations with youth ministers about how hard it was to recruit male core members and encourage male teenagers to participate in youth ministry. Most of our youth groups don’t look like that picture of the 90s grunge scene in Seattle, but they could. We just need to adjust our thinking about how we reach young men.

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Parenting the Digital World

“Do you think we spend too much time on our phones?” we asked them. They agreed immediately. “We think so too. We’re adults, with fully developed brains, pretty well-formed consciences, and years of practice controlling our impulses…but we still struggle not to let these devices consume our lives. It doesn’t seem fair to ask you to try to regulate your technology use when we can’t even do it well ourselves.”

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St. Joseph: A Model of Manhood

Saint Joseph was a virtuous guy, and that was key to the awesome life he lived. For us men, virtues can serve as a guideline. They’re sort of like a long string of lights that we can be confident will lead us home if we follow them. They are standards of moral excellence that we should try and imitate. They are characteristics we should try to adopt. However, it’s important to remember that our faith is about more than following the rules or doing the right thing. The virtues themselves are brought to their full potential and power when stemming from a love of God.

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The “Apostle of Ireland”: A Little About St. Patrick

If you were to ask most people what they know about St. Patrick, you would most likely get a wide range of answers. And, inevitably, most would be incorrect. Much like St. Valentine, St. Patrick is more known for his now secularized holiday than for his actual feast day.

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“Hey, What’s Your Snap?”

For many teens, Snapchat is their primary form of communication. They often prefer it over texting or other social media platforms. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Snap chat offers everything a typical phone offers. You can chat with some, group chat with multiple people, make phone calls, and make video calls with one or multiple people.

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More Than a Like: Social Media and Mental Health

Depending on who you ask, social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends or is the single source of all society’s problems today. So how do we make sense of social media when considering our mental health and the mental health of our families?

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Putting Up Guardrails: Helping Teens Set Boundaries

I love using this analogy of guardrails when discussing boundaries with teenagers. In all aspects of your life, you need boundaries to help you create space and to help prevent injury. But the most important relationship to establish boundaries in is your romantic relationships. It can often be difficult helping teens establish healthy boundaries in their relationships. Here are recommended things to emphasize to teens who are setting boundaries in their relationships.

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4 Things St. Faustina Taught Me About Mercy

Saint Faustina’s life is validation that Jesus can make the ordinary extraordinary. Even though we may not experience these same profound images of Jesus in our daily lives, we can look to Faustina as an instrument of total humility and trust in the Lord.

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Staying *Fresh* As a Youth Minister

You’re 100 percent who God has designed you to be. Because of the internet, most are used to differences. Sometimes they’re not. In the end, we all want to hear, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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50 Fun and Free Ideas for Fall

We took some ideas off, added new goals, and reflected on the importance of embracing what the different seasons of our lives can do for us. Fall is an exciting time to spend getting creative with the people you love and also super worthwhile for our spiritual life!

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