Youth Ministry Information
We the Youth Ministry of St. Mary’s in Huntley proclaim the life-changing love of God in order to lead young people to a deep, lasting relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Our core goals are
1. Kerygmatic Proclamation
2. Building Disciples
3. Forming Community
Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry
stmaryhuntley.org/youthministry | (847) 669-5612 | 10307 Dundee Rd. Huntley, IL 60142
The St. Mary’s Youth Ministry Logo
The image you see over to the right is our youth ministry logo, first debuted in the summer of 2015 as the official logo for all of the St. Mary’s Youth Ministry programs. Below, you can read about the inspiration for it and learn why it is the official logo for our programs!
The olive branch which forms the circle you will probably remember from the story of Noah, where the dove returns to the ark with an olive branch, showing that new life has sprung and reminding us of the peace and new creation that God offers. The crown in the middle reminds us that Jesus Christ is King of the entire universe as well as King of each of our lives, and that He is a good and gracious King. The ‘M’ speaks of Mary, our Blessed Mother, our parish’s patron and the one who leads all Christians to Jesus Christ most effectively through her prayer and example. The crown also reminds us that Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth, a queen we can truly count on to care for us.
All together, then, the logo is a reminder that, in Jesus Christ, each of us is offered new life, new hope, and a bright future. When we look at this logo, we can be reminded that the hope and joy in Christ that starts with the daily decision to pick up our cross and follow Him, through the intercession and guidance of Mary, and let Him truly be the King of our lives. This is what our ministry is all about, then: helping our young people to see that life in Christ is beautiful, fulfilling, and worth living, even when it is difficult. This life in Christ is all about making a decision today to become a Disciple of Him whose name we bear as Christians, and our logo reminds us that the heart of our ministry is taking that journey together.
Below you will find, as best as we can, an explanation of what we have happening here at St. Mary’s to accompany our teens on their journey with the Lord and support the parents in their mission to raise these young people as young men and women committed to the Lord Jesus and with a deep love for their Catholic faith. Obviously a website page is difficult to articulate all of the ways that we will do this, so we welcome you to come and check out our programs and to ask any questions you might have!
Junior High Youth Ministry | Grades 6, 7, and 8
Our Junior High Youth Ministry and Religious Education for those in Grades 6, 7, and 8 all falls under the heading of EDGE. EDGE is a nationally known and used Junior High Youth Ministry program which helps teens learn their faith, grow in community with one another, and encounter Jesus Christ is a deep and transforming way. EDGE basically breaks down into our normal Monday night EDGE nights, retreats throughout the year (lock-ins, spring retreat, summer camp, and more!), and then any other social event or other trip we end up taking. See below for information on all of those things!
EDGE Nights are on Monday nights beginning in the Parish Hall during the school year from September through April. As of the Fall of 2017, there are two sessions for EDGE; an early one from 5-6:15pm and a late one from 6:45-8pm. These are the Religious Education classes for students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 as well as providing a time of community and an opportunity for encounter with the Lord in a new way. Students enter the Parish Hall and find their small group, which will be the same each week. At the beginning of the school year, the students will get into small groups with at least one adult small group leader and one high school helper, and those small groups will stay the same throughout the year. The beginning portion of the night begins in the Parish Hall, and after an opening game, teaching, and opening prayer the students then break out with their small group to classrooms for the next portion of the night where they will be led by small group leaders to break open the topic and help apply it to their lives. These nights will always end with prayer and announcements within their small group. Registration for a school year of EDGE begins in the summer, usually around the second week of July, and students are welcome to bring friends to come and check out EDGE as the year goes on. Parents can expect weekly updates from the Youth Ministers about what is being covered at EDGE, and are always welcome to come and watch an EDGE night and see what is happening! Click below for the EDGE Nights website page, which will be up to date with the schedule for the year.
EDGE Retreats and Other Events
EDGE Jr. High Youth Ministry has a lot more to it than just the Monday night EDGE nights! Our EDGE youth ministry program has a summer camp that you don’t want to miss, a lock-in each Spring, Totus Tuus in the summer, and a whole bunch more, including a Fall Retreat! Check out the website page below for all of that information, and make sure to check your email and subscribe to flocknote to stay up to date.
Sacramental Prep for students in Grade 9
The Sacrament of Confirmation is the Sacrament in the Catholic Church by which “the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (CCC 1285). Here at St. Mary’s, this Sacrament ordinarily takes place in 9th Grade, a time when the young people are prepared to take this call to live out their faith seriously and are prepared for what the Sacrament asks of them. Confirmation prep is for those who are in 9th grade or older, and there is now one year of focused preparation for the Sacrament with the students. You can see the dates for the year and more on the website page, and continue reading below for more information about the requirements.
The requirements for Confirmation Preparation are as follows:
Confirmation Prep Sessions
The main preparation for the Sacrament takes place at these monthly sessions on Monday nights. For these sessions, the students will attend with their sponsor. It is a requirement that the sponsor attends; if he or she is unable to attend, a parent needs to attend in place of the sponsor. These sessions will give the student the catechetical formation on the Sacrament of Confirmation in order to adequately prepare him or her to receive this Sacrament in the Spring. Students need to attend the entire time, and cannot miss any of these sessions. Each time the session is offered, it will be offered two times: once on a Sunday afternoon from 3-4:30pm and once on a Monday evening from 6:30-8pm. Students need to attend each month, and they simply choose either Sunday or Monday. The first prep session will be attended by the student and at least one parent; subsequent prep sessions are to be the sponsor and student, or a parent in sponsor’s place, but the first session needs to be a parent.
In addition to the prep nights, students will attend Life Nights. These happen each week, and the students are highly encouraged to attend many of them.
Teens will get to attend one of two one-day retreats here at the Parish. Students must be at the entire retreat. If the teen cannot attend either one of the day retreats OR would prefer to attend an overnight retreat, the teen must find another retreat to attend either at St. Mary or another parish. On these retreats, students will have a chance to encounter the Lord, form community among themselves, and have a great time!
Logistics, Paperwork, Ceremony, etc.
It will be very important during the year of preparation for Confirmation that students and their families are turning in all of the needed paperwork and participating in all of the required events. These things include:
Registering by August 31st
Turning in the Saint Form by December 10th
Turning in the Sponsor Form by November 1st
Registering for the appropriate Confirmation retreat when the registration opens
Turning in a copy of the Baptismal Certificate by January 14th
Attending the Confirmation Rehearsal with the sponsor (will be announced when the Confirmation date is announced)
Attending the Confirmation ceremony itself with our Bishop, usually in April or May
All together, the process for the year of Confirmation is:
- Registration opens in July, and is due by the end of August. A student must register to begin with the first session in October.
- Turn in the sponsor and saint information before the first session
- Attend the first Confirmation Prep session with a parent (or both parents)
- Attend each subsequent Confirmation prep session with the sponsor (or a parent in the sponsor’s place). If a student misses one, he or she must attend the make-up session.
- Attend the entire Confirmation Retreat that you sign up for
- Turn in a copy of the Baptismal certificate no later than January 14th
- Attend the Confirmation rehearsal and ceremony
We look forward to journeying with everyone towards Confirmation here at St. Mary’s! You can visit the Confirmation page on the website below for all of this information and more!
High School Youth Ministry for Students in Grades 9-12
Our high school youth ministry here at St. Mary’s is called Lifeteen. Lifeteen is a nationally known program which helps us develop content and plan how we will evangelize and engage our young people. Lifeteen here at St. Mary’s consists of Sunday evening Lifenights, retreats throughout the year including Ignite and Steubenville, our Discipleship Team, and more! Students in Confirmation attend at least 4 our High School Lifenights during the year, and all high schoolers are welcome to join us each Sunday at each of these events to meet a community of fellow believers and grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus. You can see below for an outline of all the things we do and links to learn more!
Lifenights are our weekly gathering of high school students on Sunday nights here at St. Mary’s. Any high schooler is welcome to join us at any and all of these Sunday nights for food, games, fellowship, a teaching on some aspect of the faith, and time to pray and grow together with other high school students. The schedule for Sunday nights is that there is a 5:00pm Mass, and immediately afterwards students are invited to have food in the Parish Hall if they are staying for lifenight. Everyone is then welcome to join us for lifenight which begins at 6:30pm and goes until 8:00pm; you will have a chance for games, time in small groups with adults who want to walk with you in your faith as well as your peers, and plenty of time for fellowship and community. There is no need to sign-up; each time you attend a lifenight we will have check-in at the door, but anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the website below for more information!
Retreats, Conferences and More!
One of everyone’s favorite parts about lifeteen is the chance to go on awesome retreats and youth conferences with other high school students. We have our Winter Retreat, the Steubenville Youth Conference, Totus Tuus, the Diocesan Youth Summit, and so much more. Head to the website below to see what is coming and to sign up!
Discipleship Team, or D-team as we usually call it, is a chance for our high schoolers who are ready to go deeper in their faith by walking together on the path to discipleship and growing in relationship with Christ through this fellowship. Any student in 9th grade or older who is ready to go deeper in his or her faith is invited to come and be a part of Dteam by attending. Dteam will meet on Thursdays from 6-7:30pm leading up to big retreats or events that the dteam will be leading!
Throughout the year, our youth ministry gets together to help the local community – from food pantries, assisting Sisters with their ministry to the poor, Feed My Starving Children and other events to helping at events here, this gives our teens a chance to give back by serving those in need. Check out the website below for information on these events!