Youth Advisory Council plans to enhance ministry

BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano recently announced the formation of the Youth Advisory Council to coordinate and enhance parish, school and diocesan ministry on behalf of youth and young adults in the diocese.

At the second formal meeting of the full 36-member council held this past Saturday, Bishop Caggiano remarked, “There is already leadership in youth and young adult ministry throughout our parishes. Our goal with the Youth Advisory Council is to empower that leadership, and to connect it so that we can learn from each other and plot a course for the future of youth ministry in our diocese.” The council had their inaugural meeting in early October.

“I am deeply grateful to all who have stepped forward to serve on the Youth Advisory Council,” said Bishop Caggiano. “Through better communication and shared best practices, we can move forward with  creative initiatives to evangelize, catechize and form youth in the life of faith.”

The council will seek to create a formational community of leaders “that will coordinate their efforts to form, teach, engage and empower young people and young adults as committed disciples in the life of the Church. It will also foster their accompaniment through the creation of mentoring relationships on the local level,” he said.

Plans call for the full council to meet only three times a year to receive reports from each of the working committees and to discuss global ministerial issues.

Council members will be drawn from each deanery, the ecclesial communities and movements, diocesan high schools, directors of religious education, the diocesan committee on scouting, one newly ordained priest, one Focus missionary teaming serving western Connecticut State University, a young adult from Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University, one representative from the Catholic Service Corps and six diocesan officials.

Each of the council members will be asked to sit on one of the five committees: a benchmark committee that will manage data regarding youth and young adult ministry, an events committee to plan events on the diocesan level, a social media committee that will be responsible for developing a plan to use social media to evangelize and build community, the service committee, which will look at youth service opportunities and the Liturgy committee what will plan and organize special liturgies and Holy Hours for youth.

The bishop said that members of the council will work with the common goals of coordinating and enhancing parochial ministry for both youth and young adults and creating a network of communication within the parishes.

“You are a group of individuals whose major purpose is to connect the dots,” the bishop addressed the council at their recent meeting. Expressing his hopes for the future of the council, he shared, “I want to see the principles of truth, beauty, and goodness in everything that we do.”

The bishop said he will attend all Youth Advisory Council meetings. The group will be coordinated by an executive committee, which will meet monthly.