About St. Anthony Youth Ministry
Who we Are
St Anthony’s began Life Teen in 1999 as a way to bring teens into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. We started at Oakridge High School with a 6pm Life Teen mass and Life Nights to follow in the hallway outside the library with about 75 teens each week and soon after we moved to the Bay Branch campus. It has been an amazing journey of faith. Today our mission at St. Anthony Youth Ministry continues with over 700 teens in Life Teen, 300 teens in EDGE, 260 in our Confirmation Program, and a brand new program for 5-6th grade youth - Anchor. Many lives and families have been touched by this ministry and we look forward to continuing to “Lead teens closer to Christ and His Church.”
St. Anthony Youth Ministry exists to bring teens into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ by welcoming every teen, as family, into a home in which they are blessed when they walk through our doors, while they are here, and when they leave.
Every Teen develops A lifelong Relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church
"At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth (St. John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae, 5)." "I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day (Pope Francis, Evangelli Gaudium, 3)." Our primary function is to partner with parents in the task of evangelizing and catechizing the teens of St. Anthony's. This partnership seeks above all to bring teens into a lived relationship with Jesus Christ, through the Church that ultimately places each teen on the trajectory of lifelong Christian discipleship. Above all, we have a deep desire for every teen to fall in love with a person - the Person of Jesus Christ.
Every Teen is Welcomed as family into a Home
"Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid (Luke 12:7)." A teen is never a number. Jesus Christ does not revel at the reality of hundreds that flock to hear His voice. Rather, He became one of us to even be so close as to count the hairs on our head. The redemption won for us by the Firstborn Son has made every teen that walks through our doors adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Speaking to young people at World Youth Day years ago, St. John Paul II said: “The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your ideals, in order to make the Gospel of life penetrate the fabric of society.” Every teen not only belongs in our Church, they are needed in this parish. Every baptized teen is a son or daughter of God the Father and this place – God’s house – is their house. As a parish, we have the duty to welcome our young brothers and sisters recognize who they are: an essential part of the family of God. We must give them a place where they can meet Jesus and know his love. A place they can call "home."
Every Teen is Blessed the moment they enter our doors and long after they leave
"Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out (Deuteronomy 28:6)." Every teen that walks through our doors is a gift. A gift originating in God, shared by their parents, given to the Church. Our primary disposition towards every teen must be that of gratitude. Gratitude for what they have to offer the Church, but most importantly gratitude simply for their presence in our midst. If we see every teen as a gift, a blessing, and brother or sister in the Family of God, we will at all times seek in turn to bless them during their time in St. Anthony Youth Ministry and beyond as grow into adulthood.