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The Office of Youth Ministry wishes to minister to, with and for young people and guide them to an intimate and dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Our youth have been given a life-long challenge that includes full involvement in the life, mission and work of the Catholic Church.

Believing that the most effective ministry to youth occurs at the parish level, we assist parishes and the adults called to lead our youth by offering programs, events and outreach to build and maintain a strong youth presence.

Upcoming Youth Events and Information 

Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment – The 2018 Worldwide Synod of Bishops want to hear from young people!  The theme for the worldwide bishops’ synod in 2018 is youth ministry. Preparations include asking young people for their input now. The Vatican has posted a survey for young people and the Office of Youth Ministry has also prepared a survey for people ages 16-29. Bishop Joseph Kopacz is putting out a call for participation throughout the Diocese of Jackson. The Vatican survey is available in English, Spanish, French and Italian on the synod’s official site.  The surveys are open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief.  Please submit your surveys by November 30, 2017.  Vatican Synod Survey and Diocese of Jackson Synod Survey.  

How do you March for Life Video Contest – The Diocese of Jackson is sponsoring a March for Life video contest.  The videos must be a minimum of 2 minutes long, maximum of 4 minutes.  Judges will select winners by category; winners will receive a cash prize!  All ages and parish groups are invited to participate.  Submission deadline is December 3, 2017.  Click here for complete entry details.

Diocesan SEARCH Retreat – January 19-21 2018 – SEARCH is a unique retreat experience Cross-JerusalemCrossdesigned for youth in grades 11th & 12th who have a strong desire to deepen their faith and relationship with Christ.  A retreat “for teens, led by teens” is an experience like none other; with a strong focus on vocations SEARCH engages youth in a special way and calls them to live out their Catholic faith in a bold, real, active and healthy way. Registration is FULL at this time; please contact the Office of Youth Ministry to be added to the waiting list.  For more info. please visit the website –  www.jacksonsearch.com.

SAVE THE DATE – Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) – ABLAZE 2018 – will be February 2-4, 2018 at the Vicksburg Convention Center. PJ Anderson will be our keynote presenter and musician for the weekend.  Early bird registration with discount is due by December 15th and final registration is due by January 5th.  Youth Ministry leaders click here for group registration packet, forms and hotel information.  Please help promote this event by using this promotional flyer in your parishes.

Diocesan Confirmation Retreat – March 3-4, 2018 – Camp Garaywa, Clinton, MS – This retreat is offered for those youth in grades 11 & 12th preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Registration materials will be available early-2018. Contact Fran Lavelle for more information Fran.Lavelle@jacksondiocese.org

Abbey Youth Festival – March 17, 2018 – St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, Covington, LA. The Abbey Youth Festival is an apostolic service of Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College. It is designed to provide young people with an opportunity to experience a day of prayer and faith formation with an exposure to the Benedictine tradition. Its focus is evangelization and vocational discernment by means of Liturgy, prayer, worship, music and education appropriate for Catholic young people ages 13 and up!  www.abbeyyouthfest.com                                       6780926_orig


Opportunities and Information for Youth Ministers and Leaders

Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference – “Go! Build a Journey of Hope” – January 11-13, 2018 – Kenner, LA – Open to any adult that works or volunteers with Formational Ministries (DREs/CREs, Youth Ministers, Catechists, Adult Faith Formation leaders, RCIA, etc.) Registration is now open.  Visit the website for registration and hotel information.  Scholarships are available through the Department of Faith Formation to help with registration fees.  Contact Fran Lavelle for more information. 601-960-8473

Letters to a Bishop:  The Journey to Confirmation – Fran Lavelle, Director for the Department of Faith Formation has been working on developing a Confirmation Preparation Program for the Diocese that includes the curriculum from the Catechist Companion.  This Confirmation program includes nine sessions that can be adapted to suit the individual needs of your parish.  The title of the program is, “Letters to a Bishop: The Journey to Confirmation.”   Use of this program is not mandatory.  It has been developed and is being provided to assist those parishes who want to use it. If you chose to use it, we would like to get your feedback at the end of the academic year.  This is a flexible program that can be adjusted and modified to best meet the needs of our parishes. To request a PDF version of the program please contact Fran Lavelle – Fran.Lavelle@jacksondiocese.org

Diocese of Jackson Faith Formation and Pastoral Ministries Retreat/Workshop – June 4-7, 2018 – Lake Tiak-O’Khata, Louisville, MS. Open to any adult who works with children, youth or adults in pastoral ministry, youth ministry, religious education or adult faith formation. There will be a one-night retreat option, 4-day retreat, 4-day workshop or workshop/retreat combination.


Scouting – Refer questions and applications for scouting awards and medals to Abbey Schuhmann in the Office of Youth Ministry.

Boy Scouts – National Catholic Committee on Scouting  

Girl Scouts – National Catholic Committee for GS and CF USA   

Diocesan Youth Indemnity/Permission Forms – 2017 – (click here for forms) 

Form A – Parent/Guardian Continuing Consent Form and Liability Waiver

Form A only needs to be filled out one time and is considered valid until the participant graduates from high school.  Ideally, this form is filled out upon entrance into 6th or 7th grade (depending on what grade your parish starts youth activities). This Form is required for any youth activity that occurs on or off your campus.  Every youth participant (guests included) should have Form A on file at the parish.  A copy of Form A should always travel with you anytime you are off-campus for an event; the original should always stay on file at the parish.

Form B – Annual Update 

Form B is an annual update that follows Form A (for youth) and Form C (for adults).  After initial completion of Forms A and C only Form B needs to be completed.   If Form A is filled out this year, Form B will not be filled out until the following year and then only Form B until graduation.

Form E – Specific Event Request, Consent and Release

Consider Form E your “field trip permission form.”  Form E is required for all youth who participate in any off-campus activities (whether it is a one hour activity or a week long activity); Form E is required for all youth participants (guests included).  Form E will need to be filled out for each individual off-campus activity or event that is planned.

A copy of Form A should be carried with you to any off-campus activity and the original should remain on file at the parish.  Form E should also travel with you for that specified event.

Form C – Adult Youth Ministry Leader/Chaperone Medical Release and Liability Form

Form C is the adult equivalent to Form A.  All adults who lead or help with youth ministry programs should have Form C on file at the parish – this is a separate document from the Protection of Children training.  Form C should be filled out by full-time staff, part-time staff and parent/adult volunteers who help with youth programming.  Form C is valid for 6 years.  Upon completion of Form C; adult leaders will only need to complete Form B, the annual update.  A copy of Form C should travel with you anytime you are off-campus for an event; the original should always stay on file at the parish.  Form C and Form A function the same.

MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) Report

Any adult who drives youth for events should complete an MVR Report from the Department of Public Safety before they drive for an event.  Your Protection of Children Site Administrator will file this form at most parishes.  This form is only necessary for adults who will be driving youth and it costs $11 to run the report.  It is good for 3 years.  Your Protection of Children site administrator needs to document the eApps database with the date of the MVR.  The original MVR document should be retained at the parish office and attached to the original copy of the applicant’s POC application. MVR online report. 

Protection of Children for Adults working with Youth

Any adult who works with youth needs to be trained in the Protection of Children Safe Environment program.  After undergoing initial training, all adults will need to read the VIRTUS monthly bulletins to remain compliant in working with children/youth.  For questions regarding the Protection of Children training, VIRTUS or Safe Environment questions – please contact Vickie Carollo in the Protection of Children Office – 601-969-1880.

Travel Guidelines for Youth Trips  – (click here for the document; travel guidelines begin on page 46)

Youth Ministry Resources

National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

Our Sunday Visitor 

Center for Ministry Development


Ascension  Press

Ascension Presents

Outside Da Box

Newman Connection  

The Vatican    

Catholic Answers on the Radio                                                                                     

Catholic Jukebox

St. Mary’s Press

GIA Publications  

Questions Contact: Abbey Schuhmann, Coordinator, Office of Youth Ministry 601-949-6934 or abbey.schuhmann@jacksondiocese.org