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 2022-2023

Diocesan SEARCH Retreat – Dates are TBD!  A 2022 Fall Retreat and 2023 Spring Retreat are slated for the upcoming year; stay tuned for dates.  SEARCH is a unique retreat experience designed 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 later this year.

Middle School Fall Retreat with NET Ministries – October 15-16, 2022 – Lake Forest Ranch, Macon, MS –   The middle school retreat is held in the Fall each year for those youth in 7th and 8th grades.  The retreat offers opportunities for prayer, faith sharing in small groups, fellowship, the sacraments and community building.  NET Ministries is a national retreat ministry organization.  NET deploys multiple teams of young adults each year to lead dynamic retreats all over the country.  We can’t wait to host NET in the Diocese of Jackson!  Registration will open August 2022!  

Diocese of Jackson Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) March 3-5, 2023; Vicksburg Convention Center  We look forward to offering an exciting conference in 2023.  DCYC is open to youth in grades 9-12.  The conference will feature keynote presentations and worship music from Catholic artists and speakers.  The conference will also feature interactive games, activities, small groups, breakout sessions, prayer, reconciliation, adoration and closing mass with Bishop Kopacz! The Bishop Chanche Youth Awards will also be presented during our closing mass on Sunday, March 5th.  Registration materials will be available Fall 2022.  The cost of the conference will be approximately $120 per person plus hotel lodging fees.      

Diocesan Confirmation Retreat January 2023 – Lake Forest Ranch, Macon, MS – This retreat is offered for those youth in grades 10th and 11th preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Registration will open Winter 2022.  Contact Fran Lavelle at

Abbey Youth Festival – St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, Covington, LA. We are hopeful for a safe and healthy return to Abbey Youth Fest in the future.  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 grades 8 and up!

Opportunities and Information for Youth Ministers and Leaders

Department of Faith Formation Quarterly Newsletter – The Department of Faith Formation now publishes a quarterly newsletter (January, April, July and October).  The newsletter features timely topics, events and updates from each Office in the Department.  It is a digital publication sent to ministry leaders in the diocese.  In addition to the quarterly newsletters, resource bulletins are also published before Advent and Lent.  Please find links for these newsletters and bulletins on the Faith Formation page. 

Fall Faith Formation Day – August 20, 2022 – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Madison, MS – “Behold, I Make All Things New” Any adult leader or volunteer that works in formational ministries as a catechist, DRE/CRE, youth ministry leader/volunteer, RCIA director/volunteer, adult faith formation leader/volunteer is invited to this one-day formation event.  Stephanie Clouatre Davis will be the keynote presenter and breakout sessions on various topics will also be offered.  Registration is now open and the cost is $10. Contact Fran Lavelle with any questions about the day.  

Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference – January 13-14, 2023 – Pontchartrain Center, Kenner, LA –  “Behold, I Make All Things New” – The Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference offers those involved in catechesis and evangelization in the Catholic Church an opportunity to enhance their ministries and to deepen their commitment to Jesus Christ through:

  •  Personal and professional development sessions with leaders in evangelization and catechetical ministry
  •  Liturgical celebrations and a variety of prayer experiences
  • Formal and informal networking opportunities
  •  Thought-provoking and inspirational presentations

Diocese of Jackson Pastoral Ministries Retreat/Workshop –  June 18-22, 2023 – Lake Tiak-O’Khata, Louisville, MS. Open to any adult who works with children, youth or adults in pastoral ministry, youth ministry, religious education, RCIA or adult faith formation. There will be a one-night retreat option, 4-day retreat, 4-day workshop or workshop/retreat combination.  Registration will open Spring 2023. Contact Fran Lavelle for more details –

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 –

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   

Permission Forms and Trip Information 

Diocesan Youth Indemnity/Permission Forms – 2022-2023

Diocesan Youth Indemnity/Permission Forms in Spanish –  Permiso en espanol – Diocesis de Jackson  

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 Jenifer Jenkins in the Protection of Children Office – 601-960-8471.

Incident Reporting Forms for Accidents and other Parish/School incidents 

This form should be filled out completely as soon as possible after any accident/injury occurs.  It is best to complete this form while all the details, including conditions and witnesses are still fresh in your mind.  Keep this form on file at the parish.  Please also send a copy of the form to the Department of Faith Formation. Click here for Incident Reporting Form for Accidents and Injuries.  Click here for form in Spanish – Diocesis de Jackson – Reporte de accidentes o lesiones Formato 

Incident Reporting Form for Violation of Safe Environment (incidents NOT related to abuse or injuries/accidents).  Please complete this form as soon as possible after the incident occurred.  Please follow the instructions carefully.  If you have questions about completing this form, please contact Jenifer Jenkins Coordinator for the Office of Protection of Children and Safe Environments.  601-960-8471

Travel Guidelines for Youth Trips   (Protection of Children & Young People Policy Appendices -Youth Travel Guidelines ) 

Lay Suitability Form  

This form should be used when bringing in a speaker, musician, or other type of talent to exercise lay public ministry at a parish or school sponsored event.  This is in regard to a paid person or volunteer.  Lay Suitability Form  

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