Letters from our readers

Any homiletic programs for high school chaplains?

Do you know of any homiletic programs being offered for priests who are assigned as chaplains to Catholic high schools? It seems the priests are well-trained in their theology, but how to make it relevant to high school students is another question.

In our area, several non-denominational churches seem to be thriving and attracting teens and older young adults. But one does not see too many of that age group at the weekend Masses. How does one balance liturgy, homiletics and “entertainment” in our Catholic worship? How do we create a strong sense of community and hospitality, which many of these churches seem to do very well?

Thanks for any ideas.

God bless you in your important ministry.

Brother Kevin Brutcher, FSC

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  1. Avatar Raymond Gueret says:

    My background is teaching 8th grade CCD for the past 12 years. What I have found is that young people are looking for what is real and what is the truth. They hunger for what their faith actually teaches and not the latest fad in teaching methods or having drums at Mass.

    I understand what you are trying to say when you used the word “entertainment” and that you want to create a strong sense of community and hospitality.

    The messenger can be very helpful but it is the message that will capture their hearts. Good, solid teaching of the faith will do more than you can imagine. The sense of community comes from Christ and not so much with pizza parties and “praise” rock bands. They are tools that are at your disposal but they are not the ends. It is not about feelings but being a joyful member of the Body of Christ.

    Jesus is what makes the community possible. He should be the focal point of all activities and discussions. They can tell if you are in love with Jesus, or not, and if you believe what you are telling them. So it is very important that you not neglect your own prayer life.

    Keep it faithful, joyful, prayerful, and truthful and let the Holy Spirit guide you in the direction that God desires.

    God bless you in your ministry.

  2. My few years teaching in a Catholic Middle School (grades 6-8) verified the above response (be authentic, present the Truth who is Jesus). Adolescents see a lot – and often too much – in our “culture”. They do not see enough of honest, sincere and authentic zeal for the Gospel, nor do they experience enough simple love for (and of) Jesus Christ. Nor are they often enough taken seriously enough, as persons worthy of the total challenge of the Gospel. Adolescents have a great potential to be heroic, full-hearted and devout for a cause to which they can give themselves! Let it be to Christ – challenge them to come to Christ – the One worthy of their lives.