Dear WCACYM friends, family, & students of Summer Seminar,
It is my duty as Chairperson on behalf of Sister Maybelle de la Cruz to inform you that she has been called to another mission.
Things happened quite quickly, and she is now off back to the Philippines to visit with family and spend time with her community. After, she will in the new year begin a new mission in Sicily, Italy! She has been called to help run a retreat house and reach out to the young people there.
Obviously, this came as a great surprise to us and we are filled with mixed emotions. Myself, I am devastated at losing such a gift to WCACYM and to Youth Ministry in my local Diocese of Saskatoon. But Sister's impact has reached all of Western Canada. Quickly thought my heart filled with gratitude and eyes filled with tears. I will remember my meeting with her discussing her move for many years to come. My heart simply burst in thanksgiving for who she is and what she did and sorrow for no longer being able to collaborate with her. But she reminded me that obedience and faithfulness to the call of God is primary. Sister wanted me to let you all know the great honour it was for her to serve you all, and that she continues to pray for us everyday. I in turn let her know how much she has been a blessing to WCACYM, Summer Seminar, Youth Ministry in Western Canada. More importantly, the friendship and witness to Christ that Sister Maybelle was to myself and my family and I'm sure others will not vanish! She shared her desire to be with her community more, and live a life of pray (even more!) and this is an answer to that.
Her years of service as WCACYM Summer Seminar Administrator have continued the great legacy she inherited from Odile Wilson and Jacinthe Green. We have seen continued advocacy and passion for professional training in our field of ministry. We will continue to offer the Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies, as well as the Enrichment Stream that will be one of the legacy marks left by Sister Maybelle.
In the interim, I have taken on the responsibilities of administering Summer Seminar. November - January is a critical juncture in finalizing details and sending out packages and letters to supporters. We will in due course be searching and advertising for her replacement.
But, CORE has also seen this as an opportunity to really call on the alumni of Summer Seminar and WCACYM family to step up and serve! After Sister Maybelle turned over her responsibilities and boxes of stuff, I was overwhelmed at the work she and the administrators before have taken on.
So leading up to the Annual Gathering in January (Details WILL come out this week, we apologize for the delay), I would like to ask you to pray and discern if you are in a position to join a volunteer team to help the future Administrators of Summer Seminar. This could be during the year doing admin and promotion work from where you are, or coming to help facilitate and prep for the week in the summer. Reflect on your gifts, time, and how Summer Seminar has been a blessing to you. With more hands on deck, we have the opportunity to make Summer Seminar grow and flourish even more.
So let us give thanks and press on! I encourage you to email us if you wish to get involved. We will also be putting something together at that Annual Gathering to pass on our gratitude to Sister Maybelle.
Finally, if you wish to pass on words of thanks to Sister Maybelle you may connect with her still on Facebook, or email wcacym.summerseminar(at)yahoo.ca which we'll ensure she receives.
Peace to you all, and blessed All Souls Day!
Chairperson, Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers
What you've always wanted, and more!
Finally, we're able to unveil the courses for summer seminar's growing Enrichment Stream! We're sorry for the delay, but we're very excited about who we have joining us this year! Check out the course overviews and the instructors, and register online today!
And spread the word by sharing this! Thanks!
Dear Youth Minister Leaders,
Greetings of peace and joy in the Risen Christ!
It is with pleasure that I invite you to the Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers 2014 Summer Training Seminars. It will be held on Saturday, July 19 till Friday July 25 at Queen's House of Retreats in picturesque Saskatoon and with our Diocese co-hosting the event!
This year, Summer Sem will be offering the following courses towards the Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies ---Foundations in Ministry Leadership, Skills in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Care of Youth. Our facilitators will be Andrew Bartley and Anne Walsh, skilled and highly qualified to train adults in the field of Catholic Leadership.
Enrichment Courses will be offered for the second year in a row as well (Details being finalized this week).
If you needed some more convincing, watch our new promo video, and share it!
My name is Deanna Beaudoin, I am a Parish Coordinator of Youth Ministry and have been working in full time ministry for nearly 6 years. It's my pleasure to endorse WCACYM's Summer Seminar.
When I first walked through the doors at Queens house three summers ago I had no idea how incredibly the formation I was about to receive would completely change my entire career. I came on the misconception that this was to be "some kind of youth ministry training" and half way through the first day I got my first glimpse of the professionalism possible in ministry that I hadn't even known existed.
Here are eight comprehensive and intensive courses that lay out the foundation, framework and Christocentric heart of Youth Ministry. I came hoping for some sort of direction that I might take back to my parish and left with a sound understanding of a theologically based, comprehensive and holistic model of Ministry.
Aside from the professionalism I encountered, there was so much more. WCACYM is much more than a puzzling acronym - it's a family of like minded yet completely individually gifted people passionate about building the kingdom of God. Whether we are part time, full time, or volunteers - it's widely embraced that we are ALL part of the fabric of ministry and working together greatly impacts our ability to affect change.
I've never felt more embraced, encouraged or empowered in a professional setting than my time spent at Summer Seminar.
It's my pleasure to share with you my experience which has been nothing short revolutionary.
I wanted to take a little time this coming week to get alumni of our Summer Seminar program to explain why it is such a transformational and worthwhile program!
We are blest to be launching a new Enrichment Stream for Certificate Alumni, or those looking to dive deeper into some topics not covered in detail, or emerging trends and issues. We'll highlight that later this week.
But first my 3 C's on why you should complete the Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies.
Participants feel more confident in their youth ministry role because they have integrated and applied the most recent and innovative theory and approaches into their own setting and responsibilities.
The comprehensive sequence of courses provides a solid foundation of theory, theology and practical approaches, which can be applied in any parish or school youth ministry setting.
This is a nationally-recognized curriculum, offered in 25 sites and sponsored by over 50 dioceses, whose graduates are in parish, school, and diocesan leadership positions all over the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and Scotland.
And that's just 3 reasons you should register today for Summer Seminar!
The Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies™ is a ministry education program for adults in ministry with youth in both parish and school settings. It equips leaders with the knowledge, skills, practical tools, and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive ministry with youth.
This program is designed for adults involved professionally or as volunteers with younger (10-14) or older (14-19) adolescents in a parish or school setting. The potential audience for the program includes: coordinators of youth ministry, directors of religious education, youth ministry volunteer leaders, junior high leaders, high school campus ministers, teachers, clergy, university students and seminarians. Individual weekends are also helpful for leaders who specialize in particular ministries. For example, the Justice and Service course can serve leaders involved in social justice ministries.
The primary aim of the program is to promote personal, spiritual, and ministerial growth. Courses in the first year cover youth ministry principles and practice, and leadership theory, processes, and skills. The second year focuses on fostering the faith growth of youth through evangelization and catechesis, prayer and worship, justice and service, and pastoral care.
The Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies™ includes eight courses. Each course consists of fourteen hours of instruction provided in two days. These courses are being offered in a week-long format in the course of three summers. Summer courses on weekdays meet from 9 AM to 5 PM each day.
The Certificate program is utilized in a number of ways:
A Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies is awarded by the sponsoring institution (WCACYM), the Redemptorists of English Speaking Canada and the Center for Ministry Development to students who participate in all eight courses and complete the certificate assignments for each course
Learn more about WCACYM's Summer Seminar program which offers the CCYMS courses.
A love letter to all Summer Seminar Students:
Doing your homework matters, and we love you and are proud of all of you persevering today finishing your assignments.
You may think it a crazy waste of time and stress. But let me give you a few reasons why it isn't.
1) You're not the first or the last to do it.
2) You inspire and support one another.
3) You're a testament to the work ethic of Youth Ministry workers. All these long nights, extra cups of coffee, and hand cramps help witness to your devotion to growing in your expertise at serving God's beloved children and church. Taking time away from team meetings, family, sleep, and work is a great sacrifice in order to better oneself to serve. Not everyone is willing to give that much of themselves, so be proud and know it is appreciated and noticed!
4) Your passion and dedication to your calling to serve young people is evident by not just relying on natural talent and, "winging it on a prayer". Although we're all gifted and guided by God's spirit - sometimes God asks us to put our own extra effort and investment. It is a humble act to become a life long learner, and you are all great witnesses to that! Know that your youth benefit from your tireless work to improve and gain new wisdom, but also by your example of dedication to a cause. Young people long to throw themselves "All In" as our good friend Michael Chiasson would say. They only benefit and gain courage to do so by seeing you do this into your craft and career in youth ministry.
5) You're paving the way for the next wave of leaders. I was a delinquent 3 years late to the party of starting my certificate in Youth Ministry. I was also a university drop out who didn't want to admit it, but was afraid of failing again at "school". The example of friends before me and their encouragement gave me courage to get back on the saddle. If this university dropout can do it, anyone can - and you all tell that story by your various situations and perseverance in completing the courses.
6) Finally, celebrate well. Eat a whole cheesecake. Have that beer. Dance in the snow. Rejoice and proclaim what you've accomplished. Call a friend and scream "I'M DONE!!!!" to them. Don't just jumped into the next thing. Relish and sit with your accomplishment. And of course, invite and encourage others to step up to the challenge next!
Well done Summer Seminar students. We're proud to have you in the family.
By: Erin Kinsella
So I just came back this week from Orlando, Florida! Nice vacation from the Winnipeg weather J. Why was I in Florida, you ask? Well, it was because the biennial National Catholic Conference on Youth Ministry was being held there. Just a perk that it happened to be hosted at Disneyworld!
Anyways, I wanted to share about something I found really interesting …
Youth ministry is defining itself more, and really is a collection of information/theory/best practices/wisdom about how to help young people to encounter Christ. It’s not fluffy.
Sometimes it’s hard to move forward in youth ministry, because often our pastors / bosses / parishioners / other bystanders / volunteers / teens / us see youth ministry as something that is merely a social gathering/a way to keep young people occupied/an extension of catechism/a way to get young people to Mass/a vehicle for service and justice/other narrowly focused thing that is ill-defined and unspecialized (YM is ALL of these things, and more, not just ONE of these things by itself).
Sometimes, the job of youth minister/campus minister/youth coordinator/person responsible for all evangelistic efforts to all young people from birth to 40 goes to the only person who is unable to flat-out refuse the role/the excited young guitar-playing college student who doesn’t have any experience but is really cool/willing to do it for free or for a salary that is unjust and/or literally criminal/ already doing a million other jobs in the parish and should now “take care of the youth”/the person who used to do “youth stuff” but might not be aware of how much theory around ministry to youth has changed/any other person who loves young people with that as the only qualification.
If we can help people to shift their focus and see that ministry to young people requires a whole skill set with specialized competencies and knowledge just like any other job, then we can help our young people to have access to those who both
a) Love Jesus and want to help them to be consumed by the love of God in such a way that it spills out of them into the world around them, and;
b) Have some training in how to go about this effectively
I’m not for a minute suggesting that those who don’t have formal training or education in youth ministry can’t be called to it and be very good at it (I’m a great example…I started professionally in YM with only a few years of experience and an unrelated university degree as a qualification, have taken part in lots of training stuff and gained more experience, and am now moving into more education to supplement that experience…but I started off as mostly a person who loves Jesus and teenagers and wanted to see them paired up). What I AM suggesting is that YM has grown a lot since it first began as socials and athletics for young people, and there is now a huge body of knowledge and theory and experience that we NEED to tap into when we minister to young people.
Whether you are a volunteer or are paid, you DESERVE to have a frame of reference to minister in. It’s awful to feel like you have no idea how to even start doing what you’re expected to do, which is often a whole lot, and this can lead to ineffective youth ministry, unhappy pastors and young people, and people who end up hurt or used as a result of their service in youth ministry. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s not necessarily uncommon either, and is this not something we would like to avoid? Think about it this way: it would be kind of like asking someone to be an accountant without them having an accounting degree, and then expecting them to balance the books because they are a nice person with good intentions. Sounds harsh, but it’s not fair to them, to the firm, or to the people who rely on their service.
In Canada, we are moving more and more towards this understanding, I think. We’re getting better at helping people to understand the concrete-ness and huge-ness of youth ministry, at equipping people to do it effectively, at discipling people who disciple youth, and more. It’s also likely that by the time we see these things coming more into their own, youth ministry will have morphed into new theories/practices/expressions that will require us to do it all over again.
Anyways, these are some thoughts that came out of the conference, especially because young people are SOOOOOOO worth it. They are worth knowing how to do our jobs well (whether we are volunteer or paid). They are worth taking care of ourselves for and making sure that our ministry doesn’t lead to burn-out or being frozen in discouragement. They are worth our own continuing growth and understanding of the richness found in our Catholic faith and teachings so that we can help them to do the same. And they are certainly worth us entering more and more deeply into a relationship with Christ so that we can enter into relationships with them and help them to encounter Him too.