OACE: The history and impact of the Archdiocesan Youth Council

September 27, 2022

(TCH file photo)

In response to the mission statement of the Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization (OACE), the Archdiocesan Youth Council was established in March 1994 by then Associate Director Brian K. Johnson, with the first members beginning July 1994 for the following purposes:

• To represent the youth of the Archdiocese and to articulate and advocate for their particular needs and concerns to the members of the Archdiocesan leadership, including meeting with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.

• To promote spiritual and personal growth of their peers by facilitating active participation of youth at Archdiocesan events.

• To raise Catholic leaders in the Archdiocese through the council’s involvement in the development of special programs for youth.

• To help draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and works in the faithful community of the People of God.

Two young people from each parish throughout the Archdiocese are chosen to discern, plan and execute the many events OACE hosts for younger and older adolescents. These events include the annual Archdiocesan Junior High Youth Rally and the Archdiocesan Youth Conference. With the youth council, the OACE truly answers the USCCB’s call to have comprehensive youth ministry “to, with, by, and for young people.”

The youth council members gather several times a year. In August, they have breakfast with Cardinal DiNardo, which they greatly appreciate and enjoy.

Additionally, they discern to be part of a committee that plans an Archdiocesan-wide event. Without their input and service, these events wouldn’t be the same. In December, they meet as a group to focus solely on working on their faith life and their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, We pray that the young church might boldly take charge of their lives, aim for the most beautiful and profound things of life and always keep their hearts unencumbered.

Accompanied by wise and generous guides, help them respond to the call you make to each of them, to realize a proper plan of life and achieve happiness.

Keep their hearts open to dreaming great dreams and make them concerned for the good of others.

Like the Beloved Disciple, may they stand at the foot of the Cross, to receive your Mother as a gift from you.

May they be witnesses to your Resurrection and be aware that you are at their side as they joyously proclaim you as Lord. Amen.