PROVIDENCE — In serving the faith needs of hundreds of young people across the diocese all year long, the Office of Youth Ministry organizes many special events and programming in its mission of evangelization.
So, when Director Louise Dussault learned that the proceeds from this year’s Lumen Gentium awards banquet would benefit diocesan Catholic Youth Ministry, she was ecstatic.
“We’re very thrilled to be the recipients of the proceeds of the Lumen Gentium Awards banquet,” said Dussault. “We’re grateful to Bishop Tobin and the Lumen Gentium Committee for choosing us.”
The director said the resources would help her office to continue with the high level of programming it offers to keep young people engaged in their faith, as well as to make needed improvements at some of the facilities they maintain across the state, from the Scout Chapel at Camp Yawgoog — where there are some leaks in the roof in need of repair — to Mother of Hope Camp in Chepachet, to the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center in Cranston.
“We certainly have facility needs, but most importantly we have programming,” Dussault said.
“We’re very excited about our diocesan Youth Day,” she said of “Enflamed,” a high-energy event that was the first of its kind for local youth.
“It was a smashing success and this will certainly help us to continue to grow that into what we hope becomes a regular part of our annual programming that supports parish efforts.
The next event, on Sept. 7, with the theme “Anchored,” will feature a national guest speaker from New Orleans.
The Office of Catholic Youth Ministry also hosts programs at parishes across the diocese all year long, including leadership programs, and single and multi-parish retreats, where development and leadership skills are taught to the young people.
Other programs include weekly prayer meetings and monthly Glorify praise and worship events.
“We’re co-sponsoring one of the main guests who is coming to the Bryant Faith Formation Convocation this year because he’s focusing on the results of the recent synod and also focusing on ministering to young people in the context of their families. It’s a new development in Youth Ministry, not ministering to kids in a vacuum,” Dussault said.
She noted that current research shows that kids want to engage in programming along with other family members, especially their parents, not apart from them.
“In many ways you need to evangelize their parents as much as you need to evangelize the kids,” she said.
Nominations for the 2019 Lumen Gentium annual Catholic service awards, which recognize the efforts of many individuals and groups throughout the Diocese of Providence who work tirelessly in support of the work of the Church in their parishes, remain open online and will be accepted through 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
The awards, which will be bestowed in 9 categories during a banquet on Wednesday, May 15 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, will formally recognize those who have made significant contributions to the life of the Church in the diocese, working tirelessly, and often without compensation or acclaim because of their devotion to the Church.
Since 2013, the annual Lumen Gentium awards banquet has raised more than $300,000 in support of Catholic elder services, parish food pantries, Emmanuel House (the diocesan homeless shelter), and Catholic education.