By Tim Bishop
WHEELING—Youth from throughout the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston will have to opportunity to grow in their faith during a series of youth nights to be held throughout January and February.
Bob Perron, executive director of the diocesan Department of Youth Ministry, said the missionary team from the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville will travel the state for a series of youth nights to be held at 16 parishes around the diocese. Perron said the parishes were chosen in each region so that youth from neighboring parishes could also attend. “We wanted to have an opportunity for kids in these parishes,” Perron said, “if they don’t have a parish ministry, to be able to experience a youth night. The gatherings are designed to supplement youth ministry in parishes who already have active youth programs and to serve as a model for those who do not.”
The youth nights are based on a four-year series on the teachings of the catechism called “Journey to Emmaus.” That series was developed by the Diocese of Arlington, Texas, and is being used in conjunction with the video catechism series developed by Perron. Each night will consist of prayer, engaging activities and lessons on the incarnation.
“We are excited,” he said, “because I think this is going to be a great way to spark youth ministry in our diocese. We are going to provide an inspiring, fun and faith-filled night that will help youth grow in their faith.”
Perron said that parents and catechists are also strongly encouraged to attend the gatherings. “Parents and adults who are involved in youth ministry,” he said, “can come see the program, then we give them the cirriculum so that they can begin doing this in their parishes after we leave. What we will be doing is modeling a good youth ministry night. I believe that there are adults in our parishes who would love to do something for our kids, they just don’t know where to start. So this is really step one for them.” Parents will also have the opportunity to learn about Camp Bosco during an informative meeting before each youth night.
Those informative meetings will kick off each youth night program at 6 p.m. The youth portion of the evening will then be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Perron said there is no cost for the program and no registration is necessary. A complete list of the dates and locations for the program is available on the advertisement below. More information is also available by visiting www.wvcatholicym.org.