Background of the Youth Ministry
The Ukrainian Catholic Youth and Young Adults (UCY/UCYA) offers a wide range of programs and activities in order to serve its extremely diverse membership base. It is a unique organization in that, rather than signing up to be a member, anyone is eligible to participate if they are between the ages of twelve and forty and are members of a Ukrainian Catholic parish. Youth and young adults can therefore attend programs and activities whenever they can and everything is scheduled to meet the flexibility requirements of today’s youth, especially those attending university.
While the UCY/UCYA is primarily concerned with the spiritual development of our youth and young adults, events are open to all, with many youth bringing their families and friends. In this way, not only the young but the “young at heart” can enjoy the events. Every activity hosted by the UCY/UCYA contains both a spiritual and social component, realizing that connecting Christ and building community are essential in the life of the Church. Examples of such events are the twilight retreat/ice cream social and the St. Nicholas Train, where youth have the opportunity to engage in fun and fellowship combined with learning about social issues and preserving the traditions of their faith. Service projects such as the annual Christmas Caroling at local nursing homes allows the youth to put their faith and values into practice and share their youthful optimism with others.
The multitude of age groups within the UCY/UCYA allows for several opportunities for mentoring and exchange of ideas. Youth and young adults work side-by-side on the executive, helping to plan the yearly events. Programs such as the “Adopt-a-Baba” project conducted with the catechism students help younger children to get involved and spark their interest in working with the older youth.