Ever wondered at a multi parish youth event why the teens from the parish across your diocese seemed so much more alive and into their faith than the teens you brought? It just might be that you are not taking advantage of the amazing greenhouses of faith that are offered for teens these days.
In the world of gardening, greenhouses are structures where seeds are planted, sprout and grow in a perfect environment away from the elements, critters and other destructive things that keep them from maturing and being able to live on their own. Catholic youth ministry offers the spiritual equivalent to this in vibrant youth friendly parishes, fully alive Catholic schools, Catholic summer camps, NCYC’s, Franciscan University of Steubenville Youth Conferences, Teen Leadership Conferences and World Youth Days.
These Catholic greenhouses of faith are a safe place for teens to grow for a weekend, a week or for 4 years. It’s where they learn how to pray, serve and connect to the Sacraments of the Church. People ask the question about these greenhouses and if they do more harm than good. They say things like – “It’s not the real world” or “your only setting the teens up for disappointment after they graduate high school and attend Mass at a college that doesn’t have a vibrant teen Liturgy or large gatherings of Catholics who are alive in their faith”. I understand the dilema, it’s just how can we expect change if we don’t embrace these greenhouses of faith where teens are growing and thriving? Maybe if we keep utilizing this greenhouse effect, we can turn them into the leaders of the Church and maybe even the leaders of the next generation of greenhouses of faith?
Are you taking advantage of all the Church is offering? Seems to be working for the parish across town…..