April 17, 2020

Youths are encouraged to connect with their faith community

By John Shaughnessy

As the director of youth ministry for the archdiocese, Paul Sifuentes believes that this time of quarantine is a valuable opportunity for teenagers to deepen their faith and strengthen the connections they already have with people who share their faith.

“In times like this, I would encourage everyone to connect with their faith community,” Sifuentes says. “We all have what the early Church called a ‘community of believers.’ Right now, it is important to connect with the community. Maybe that’s a teacher at school, an uncle, a youth minister, your pastor, a friend from youth group or from school. Whoever it is, reach out and check in.

“We are meant to live the faith with the Body of Christ. Reach out, and I am confident that will bring you great joy.”

While Sifuentes says that seeking that personal connection with a faith community should come first, he also provided a list of online, faith-related resources for youths in the archdiocese to explore while they are quarantined at home.

Here are his recommendations:

Music

Sifuentes notes that the Archindy Youth Ministry Spotify Channel “features playlists from local Indiana Catholic musicians as well as informative and engaging podcasts for young people.”

The channel is available at: spoti.fi/3dNS7ca.

Video

For youths seeking a weekly video with reflections on the Sunday Mass readings, Sifuentes recommends this Life Teen website, www.Summit.lifeteen.com/teen.

“It is a great way to keep up with the liturgical rhythm of the Church,” he says.

Sunday youth nights

Sifuentes suggested two youth night opportunities, starting with Online Catholic Youth Night: ProjectYM Live, which broadcasts at 8 p.m. Eastern time, at projectym.com.

“It features an online icebreaker and amazing speakers each week. It tops off with the opportunity to praise with some great praise-and-worship musicians. Watch on your phone, and maybe even watch at the same time as a friend and text about it during the program.”

The other “Sunday youth night” opportunity is LFTN.CO/LIFENIGHT.

“This is a global youth meeting that happens live at 5 p.m. Eastern time on YouTube,” Sifuentes notes. “It is a great way to hear a message directed to teens and find community in the chat room. Maybe you even watch it at the same time as your friends and then check in afterward. It runs about 30 minutes.”

Instagram

In forming this list of people to follow on Instagram, Sifuntes says these sites “have been putting out great messages during this time of quarantine.”

• @archindyym: “Our office’s account has been sharing the inspiring content that is being put out there right now. Definitely the first follow for a youth or someone who serves youth in the archdiocese.”

• @ncycofficial: “This account is sharing messages of hope and Gospel reflections from many of the speakers at NCYC [National Catholic Youth Conference].”

• @corazonpuronyc: “Father Augustino Torres was one of the emcees for NCYC. He has been sharing great insights.”

• @joemelendrez: “A Catholic performer with great music and a great message. He has been doing live ‘praise parties’ and sharing great insights on his stories.” †

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