Encountering Jesus! (Jr. and Sr. High School)


Encountering Jesus Youth Ministry

Senior High Faith Formation Program

And Confirmation Preparation

At Sacred Heart of Jesus Church


Dear Parents/Guardians,

There will be a Parent/Student Meeting on Wednesday, September 20th at 7pm to discuss the entire Encountering Jesus Youth Ministry program and the Junior High, Senior High and Confirmation components. Parent support and input are essential to the success of Encountering Jesus, and we thank you in advance for making your child/children’s Spiritual wellbeing a priority.

Parents and students will receive materials necessary to our program at the meeting. Senior High (grades 9-12) parents and students will view an introductory video presentation for YOU. Life, Love and the Theology of the Body. This excellent Chastity program will replace the Circle of Grace Program and we are looking forward to our Teens experiencing the beauty and richness of God’s meaning and purpose for the human person.

The cost for the workbooks for each program is as follows:

CHOSEN student workbook $20.00

YOU. student workbook $20.00

YOU. parent workbook $10.00

Please note that the CHOSEN workbook will cover the two years of preparation. YOU is for both new students and those who have already received Confirmation and are continuing with Encountering Jesus.

I look forward to seeing you on the 20th.

In His love,

Theresa McAvinney DRE

Encountering Jesus Discipleship Mentor

Encountering Jesus Youth Ministry

Discipleship Formation for Teens

At Sacred Heart of Jesus Church


Participants: All Youth of our Tri-Parish Community from Grade 7 to Young Adult; any Youth, as described, from other Parishes who wish to participate.

Goal:  To help our Youth develop a better understanding of who Jesus is, to love Him more deeply and to want to serve others and the Church for love of Him.

To inspire our Youth with a true love for the Church that will encourage them to be active disciples for life; to develop a sense of ministry within the Church that will extend out to the world around them.

To provide an opportunity for Youth to gather in trust and faith that will enable them to grow a life of prayer, devotion and worship within the heart of Holy Mother Church.

To strengthen and encourage the Evangelical Spirit given to all the Baptized to bring the Good News of Jesus to all people, and to help Youth see ways to accomplish this in their daily lives.

Mission Statement: Our Youth, on fire for Jesus, will be agents of change within their families, their schools and workplaces, and especially in their Parish Churches, bearing the love of Christ and His message of Salvation to all they meet.

Basic Format:

Weekly gatherings:

Junior High (Grades 7-8) will be on Monday Evenings at Sacred Heart of Jesus Hall. This year we will be studying T3 Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come and Theology of the Body for Middle School, both from Ascension Press.

Senior High (Grades 9-12) will be on Wednesday Evenings at the McAvinney Home in Westfield; We will be studying with CHOSEN: Your Journey Toward Confirmation and YOU. Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, also from Ascension Press.

Both Junior and Senior High Teens are required to attend the Youth Holy Hour of Adoration on the third Fridays of each month to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Retreat Experiences will include Diocesan-sponsored events, opportunities for Steubenville East in the summer, a full-day Pre- Confirmation Retreat, and others that may be made available.

Opportunities for social gatherings will be after each Third Friday Adoration and other times with Youth input.

At all times, the Youth are encouraged to bring their friends to our gatherings. In this way, they are learning to recognize the need in their friends’ lives for God, and appreciating the true worth of their own relationship with Christ Jesus. This desire to share Jesus with their friends is that Evangelical Spirit that we hope to encourage within their hearts.

For Confirmation Candidates:

Candidates must make a sincere decision to be a part of the program, and make a commitment to Weekly Mass. Parents who wish to have their Children Confirmed will likewise make the same commitment.

If a potential Candidate cannot in clear conscience commit to weekly Mass, it will be recommended that the Sacrament be delayed until such time that the candidate can more seriously accept this Gift from God. This does not prevent the youth from participating in the Encountering Jesus gatherings; perhaps through the gatherings, the youth might develop a better understanding of the great gift of the Holy Spirit, and with sincere desire, ask to be confirmed at a later date.

Specific preparation for the Sacrament will be provided through the CHOSEN Confirmation format and will be incorporated into the regular Encountering Jesus gatherings. Candidates will be asked to choose a Sponsor earlier than later so that the Candidates can call upon them as they prepare for the Sacrament. In the Second Year of preparation, Candidates will choose a Saint to be their patron and guide for Confirmation and beyond.

Each Candidate must volunteer for one ministry during their two-year preparation time. Examples include: altar server, lector, Family Formation assistant, usher, choir, greeter.

Parents can, at any time, request a meeting or information regarding the Sacrament by calling Theresa McAvinney @744-6272, email tmcavinney@gmail.com , or calling Fr. Timothy Naples at 525-3711 or email fr.naples@gmail.com

Beyond the Catechetical Year:

The Encountering Jesus gatherings will continue beyond the usual school year. We hope to create a desire and need for our Youth to continue to deepen their knowledge of and relationship with Jesus and the Catholic Church and to recognize the need to continue to pray together. Beyond the School Year will be voluntary, and will continue with the consensus among the participants. God is with us every day, not only during the typical Catechetical year. By encouraging regular prayer time, we hope the Confirmation Candidates and their parents will see the Sacrament as a New Beginning and not as Graduation from religious studies.

The Future of our Catholic Church is held in the hearts of our Youth. We must make every effort to nurture and protect those hearts from straying from Holy Mother Church wherein is found our Salvation.

Address by Pope Francis, Meeting with Young People, October 4, 2013

            “God always surprises us! It is God who calls; however, it is important to have a daily relationship with Him, to listen to Him in silence before the Tabernacle and deep within ourselves, to speak with Him, to draw near to the Sacraments. Having this familiar relationship with the Lord is like keeping the window of our lives open so that He can make us hear His voice and hear what He wants us to do.”

Respectfully submitted on Friday, September 1, 2017.

Theresa A. McAvinney DRE

Catechist and Discipleship Mentor

Contact Theresa McAvinney, Sacred Heart DRE, for registration and updates: 744-6272.

Also see Fr. Naples letter covering the options for High School Catechesis in the Tri-Parish Community.

Download: Tri Parish Community High School Catechesis Letter