Teens "jump back in" at Diocesan Youth Day

On Sunday, May 2, high school youth from around the Diocese of Portland gathered at St. Joseph Church in Brewer for a Diocesan Youth Day, a day designed to help them build community and "jump back in" to their faith.

“The theme had two meanings,” said Shawn Gregory, the coordinator of youth ministry in the diocese’s Office of Lifelong Faith Formation. “It referenced the day’s Gospel reading in which Peter jumps into the water and swims to shore when he recognizes Jesus on the shoreline. Secondly, the theme encouraged the youth to jump back into their faith, especially post-COVID.”

The youth and adult leaders participated in a day planned and presented by the Catholic Youth Leadership Team.

“The time together consisted of music, presentations, fun activities, a recitation of the rosary throughout the day, a Marian procession, and a crowning for May Day,” said Gregory. “It concluded with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Deeley.”

During the Mass, the new Catholic Youth Leadership Team for the upcoming year was commissioned. The team (Blase Guerra, Angela Richards, Isaac Desrosiers, Augustus Bonner, Rebecca Griffin, Billy Bessette, and Shawn Gregory) is comprised of junior and senior high school youth who are recognized by their parish communities as Christian leaders with a commitment to being disciples of Jesus Christ in word and in deed. They work together with diocesan staff to plan and implement events and other ways to evangelize, support, and accompany the young church of Maine. 

“Pour out your blessings upon these your servants who have been called to this ministry in your church,” prayed Bishop Deeley. “Grant them the grace to give themselves wholeheartedly in your service. Keep before them the example of our Lord, who did not think first of himself, but gave himself for us all. Let them share his ministry that they may enter into his joy. Guide them in their work and reward their faithfulness with the knowledge that through them, your purposes are accomplished. Bless these young people who serve in your name. Let your Spirit uphold them always as they take up their new responsibility for the youth of our diocese.”

During the day, presentations ranged from covering the joy that being in a relationship with Jesus can bring to receiving the courage to carry out his mission with the power of the Holy Spirit.

“It was a great opportunity to come together in person and celebrate our Catholic faith and be reminded of our mission to love and serve others through Christ,” said Gregory.