Life Teen

Three Lessons from St. Gianna Molla

The extreme sacrifice she sealed with her life testifies that only those who have the courage to give of themselves totally to God and others are able to fulfill themselves." Gianna’s situation is perhaps pretty unusual; even so, she has important lessons to teach us. So here are three things to learn from St. Gianna Molla.

A Great Challenge: Reaching Young Men

I thought about what a youth night or small group looks like in many parishes. I recalled conversations with youth ministers about how hard it was to recruit male core members and encourage male teenagers to participate in youth ministry. Most of our youth groups don't look like that picture of the 90s grunge scene in Seattle, but they could. We just need to adjust our thinking about how we reach young men.

Holistic Self-Care as a Youth Minister

Not only did I fail at caring for my body nutritionally, but I'd quickly get lost in my day and forget to prioritize prayer. You guys! I had an adoration chapel steps from my office door, so what made it so hard to make the time to be with Jesus? If I didn't hold myself to this perfect standard, I'd just let the ball drop more quickly. "Oh, I didn't make it to the chapel last week, so I guess this is my new expectation of myself."

The Four Necessities for Reaching Middle Schoolers

I worked in church ministry for a long time, positioning my involvement in proximity to middle school youth ministry. (I have the evidence documented in retreat and camp T-shirts.) I was just close enough to develop a genuine appreciation for the youth ministers and core members but not close enough to commit to a year-round official association with Edge.

Parenting the Digital World

"Do you think we spend too much time on our phones?" we asked them. They agreed immediately. "We think so too. We're adults, with fully developed brains, pretty well-formed consciences, and years of practice controlling our impulses…but we still struggle not to let these devices consume our lives. It doesn't seem fair to ask you to try to regulate your technology use when we can't even do it well ourselves."

St. Joseph: A Model of Manhood

Saint Joseph was a virtuous guy, and that was key to the awesome life he lived. For us men, virtues can serve as a guideline. They’re sort of like a long string of lights that we can be confident will lead us home if we follow them. They are standards of moral excellence that we should try and imitate. They are characteristics we should try to adopt. However, it’s important to remember that our faith is about more than following the rules or doing the right thing. The virtues themselves are brought to their full potential and power when stemming from a love of God.

The “Apostle of Ireland”: A Little About St. Patrick

If you were to ask most people what they know about St. Patrick, you would most likely get a wide range of answers. And, inevitably, most would be incorrect. Much like St. Valentine, St. Patrick is more known for his now secularized holiday than for his actual feast day.

“Hey, What’s Your Snap?”

For many teens, Snapchat is their primary form of communication. They often prefer it over texting or other social media platforms. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Snap chat offers everything a typical phone offers. You can chat with some, group chat with multiple people, make phone calls, and make video calls with one or multiple people.

More Than a Like: Social Media and Mental Health

Depending on who you ask, social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends or is the single source of all society's problems today. So how do we make sense of social media when considering our mental health and the mental health of our families?

Loving Every Teen You Minister To

Love. Kindness. Compassion. Acceptance. These should be foundational attributes in every youth leader. We walk into parish halls, meeting rooms, and youth rooms with an immense responsibility to find love in all of the young people we minister to and empower them to continue to find love in others.