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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 ages 16-29. Bishop Joseph Kopacz is putting out a call for participation throughout the Diocese of Jackson. The survey is available in English, Spanish, French and Italian on the synod’s official site.  Click here to take survey.  It is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief.  Please submit your survey by November 30, 2017.

Bishop Brunini Memorial Scholarship – The Bishop Brunini Memorial Scholarship was established to be used specifically for tuition assistance for undergraduate or advanced studies at any accredited Catholic College/University.  There are no specific restrictions for the field of study.  For current college students; applicants should apply by October 15, 2017.  Awards will be distributed for Spring 2018.  Click here for application info. 

NETMiddle School Fall Retreat – “Strength in Numbers” – October 21-22 – Lake Forest Ranch – Macon, MS.  This fall retreat will be open to those youth in 7-8th grades.  NET Ministries will lead the overnight retreat.  Our theme will be “Strength in Numbers” focusing on “authentic friendship and greatness.  True friends walk together through their weakness.
Betrayal, gossip, and scandal: these traits often characterize friendships portrayed in the entertainment industry. What if our friendships, were instead marked by support no matter the circumstances? This theme explores the role of authentic friendships and their ability to empower us to greatness.”  Click here for the Registration Packet.  Why NET Ministries? 

NCYC – National Catholic Youth Conference will be November 16-18, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN.  This conference draws over 20,000+ teens from around the country for an awesome weekend of faith and fun!  Visit www.ncyc.info for more information.

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 will open Fall 2017.  Please contact Abbey Schuhmann for more information.  www.jacksonsearch.com

SAVE THE DATE – Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) – ABLAZE 2018 – will be February 2-4, 2018 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.  More details to come!


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

Fall Faith Formation Day “Living as Missionary Disciples” – September 30, 2017 – St. Joseph Catholic School, Madison, MS.  The Department of Faith Formation will offer a day of workshops for anyone involved in formational ministries (DRE/CREs, Catechists, Youth Ministers, RCIA leaders, Adult Faith Formation, etc.) Click here for more details about speakers and for registration form.  

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