Celebrating World Youth Day in the United States
30th Sunday of Ordinary Time, October 28, 2012
The 27th Anniversary of World Youth Day
The NFCYM is pleased to present these resources for the U.S. celebration of World Youth Day. Some of the resources and links are provided courtesy of the Center for Ministry Development.
Renewing the Vision (USCCB, 1997) challenged those involved in ministry to and with youth to develop a comprehensive approach that integrates young people into the life and mission of the parish community. The National Celebration of World Youth Day, annually celebrated on the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the United States, offers all involved in youth ministry an opportunity to highlight the gifts and joys that young people and youth ministry bring to faith communities across the country.
[from Preparing for the National Celebration of the 27th World Youth Day © Center for Ministry Development. Used with permission.]
In 1985, Pope John Paul II invited young people across the world to join him in Rome to observe the United Nations International Year of Youth. Since that momentous occasion, young people from every continent have gathered to celebrate the global church and their Catholic unity. The theme for World Youth Day 2012 as set by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always!"
In honor of American young people and the distinctive gifts they share with our faith communities, our bishops declared that U.S. Catholic parishes and schools will observe World Youth Day annually on the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 28, 2012). This particular Sunday is intended to highlight the presence, energy, and diversity of youth and is an opportunity for the entire faith community to join in affirming the gifts of the young Catholic Church.
This extended event provides Catholic parishes and schools with resources and suggestions for celebrating World Youth Day locally through the celebration of the Eucharist. In preparing for this annual event, young people are invited to collaborate with other parish leaders in the planning, preparing, and participation of this day. Additionally, parish leaders are encouraged to provide training opportunities for youth to learn skills necessary to serve their communities in the various ministries of the liturgy.
Suggestions for Preparation
Because World Youth Day is intended to celebrate the gifts of youth in your community, the following suggestions feature young people in the weeks leading up to your parish celebration.
- Post photographs of youth in a prominent area of your parish such as the church gathering space or community center. List young people’s names and where they go to school, any special skills and talents, and how they may have volunteered in the parish and greater community. Also include a written response from the following quote from each youth, “My joy comes from...”
- Host a learning session for your parish community on the Renewing the Vision – A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry document (USCCB, 1997). This document provides the guiding vision for youth ministry in parishes in the United States. Introduce the parish community to the themes and components of comprehensive youth ministry presented in Renewing the Vision. Divide participants into smaller groups and have them work on a vision statement for the parish’s ministry with young people.
- Assist youth in designing a special invitation to be mailed out to the community inviting all to participate in the parish World Youth Day liturgy. Be sure to include the theme for the celebration "Rejoice in the Lord Always!"
- Ask your pastoral council and other committees if youth may make a brief presentation at their gatherings to promote upcoming retreats, service projects, or other events in their ministry. Likewise, invite members of the pastoral council to present to youth how their ministry fits into the overall pastoral plan for the parish.
- Invite the pastor of your community to write an open letter to the youth of the parish describing why they are important ambassadors of faith to the rest of the community. Share this letter in your church bulletin, at the liturgy, or give a printed copy directly to each youth.
- Host a "Meet the Youth Night" and invite the parish community to come meet and mingle with the youth of their church. Encourage youth to prepare a video presentation of all the activities of youth ministry from the past year. Invite families to bring potluck dinner items to share.
- Create a video that includes interviews of youth from your parish. Capture youth vocalizing the importance of belonging to their faith community and how their participation at church helps them grow in their Catholic spirituality. In keeping with the theme, have youth fill in this sentence: "How my faith gives me joy..." Post this video to your parish website or youth ministry Facebook page. If possible, show the video before or after Masses for the entire community to see.
(More suggestions are contained in the resource.)
- Select a Date and Plan the Liturgy (Cycle B Readings)
- Inform and Involve the Parish
- Involve Young People
- Create a Worship Aid