By Kelly Coangelo
SUN contributing writer,
youth minister, immaculate conception
FAYETTEVILLE — The youth ministry program at Immaculate Conception is made up of high school teens that desire to learn more about their Catholic faith and grow to love the sacraments, the Word, and the Mass.
It is more than just faith formation. We offer all I.C. youth social, service, and spiritual activities throughout the year. Our goal is to create an environment where teens feel loved, accepted and compelled to reach a deeper relationship with God.
Youth Service Mission: To live as Christ lived is a life that responds to the needs of others — at home, at school, in the community. Service is the giving of ourselves to help others rather than a “project completed” or “hours counted.”
Our faith calls us to work for justice; to serve those in need; to pursue peace; and to defend the life, dignity, and rights of all our sisters and brothers. This is the call of Jesus, the urging of his Spirit, the challenge of the prophets, and the living tradition of our church (see USCCB the Ministry of Justice and Service).
Service opportunities at Immaculate Conception strive to nurture, empower, and infuse young people with the following:
• A social consciousness and a commitment to a life of justice and service rooted in their faith in Jesus Christ, in the Scriptures, and in Catholic social teaching;
• Justice by concrete efforts to address the causes of human suffering;
• The concepts of justice, peace, and human dignity into all ministry efforts.
• The call to serve as Jesus served.
At Immaculate Conception, we seek to form youth who will make a difference in the local community and the larger world.
What we do
Our Mission Trips include “PLUNGE” experiences in Philadelphia, the Bronx, and coming up a spring break alternative PLUNGE experience in our own diocese in Utica, N.Y. This summer we are adding a Boston PLUNGE experience.
We have served at the local Samaritan Center preparing and serving a meal at the Soup Kitchen.
We work with St. Vincent de Paul Church and their refugee population by hosting a recreation night for the children.
We serve youth at the Brady Faith Center on Syracuse’s south side by attending Mass and doing a craft with the children.
We work at the Cathedral Food Pantry once a month.
We traveled together to the Respect Life March for Life, Washington, D.C., to youth conferences and retreats in Steubenville, Ohio and at the National Catholic Youth Conference.
We provide faith experiences that help lead teens closer to Christ through our Life Nights at I.C. Life Nights are our Sunday night youth gatherings which feature food, games, teaching, reflection and prayer.
We also host pancake breakfasts and bake sales at our parish.
We strive to gather together to support each other and to experience the Gospel together. To find out more about our youth ministry programs, call (315) 637-9846.