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The St. Gabriel Youth Group was recently formed and is open to all youth in Grades 8-12. The moderator of the group is Fr. Rich, associate pastor of St. Gabriel. The theme of the group is “Making A Difference” and we are hoping to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth group members, as well as other people in the community. We are young Catholics who are committed to doing Christian service, especially to those in need. Our group provides opportunities for fun, fellowship, service, and spiritual growth. It is our goal to use the talents and abilities of all the members, so that we can realize our fullest potential as a group, and we want the members to take “ownership” of the group, as much as possible, in setting goals and planning events. If someone wants more information about our group, or would like to become a member, please contact Fr. Rich (773-268-9595 or email@example.com ). Also, we are always looking for adults to assist us in a variey of ways (as drivers, chaperones, etc.).
Youth Group Outing
Our first outing as a Youth Group was a trip to Great America for Fright-Fest. Thirty-four of our teens, as well as Fr. Rich and three chaperones (Therese Babuskow, Sharon Janowski, and Katie Drobitsch) went on the trip on Oct. 24th. Though the weather was rainy in the morning, shortly after we arrived at the park, the sun came out for the rest of the day, and everyone had a great time! We were able to get discounted tickets from the Archdiocese for Great America.
We had our most recent Youth Group meeting on Nov. 3rd, and we were privileged to have a wonderful guest speaker with us that night. Cooky Perez, who is the Youth Coordinator for 79 Catholic parishes on the South Side, gave an inspiring, uplifting talk to the teens about using their God-Given talents to helping others. She shared with us a variety of programs across the Archdiocese that would be accessible to our group, and praised our group for the ways we are reaching out to serve those in need.
Also, at the meeting, a design for our Youth Group T-Shirt (created by Charlie Catino – one of our youth group members) was presented and approved.The next step will be to find a company to produce the shirts. As soon as we get more information about prices and sizes, we will give everyone a chance to order one of the shirts. Thanks to Charlie for working on the design!
Our next event will be a service opportunity. St. James Parish (at 29th & Wabash) has invited us to bring 25 youth group members to assist with their Food Pantry on Saturday, Nov. 14th – from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Their Food Pantry receives canned food and produce from The Greater Chicago Food Depository, and then distributes that to poor people from their neighborhood. We will be be putting the food together in bags that day, as well as carrying the food out to the cars of those who need assistance. This is a great way for our youth to put their faith into action. There is much enthusiasm about helping the needy. Thanks to all our youth who will be volunteering for this event. We are also grateful to all the adults who have volunteered to drive that day, or serve as chaperones. For those who are going, we will meet in the parish hall at 8:00 a.m, get final instructions, and then leave in cars for the trip to St. James.
At the meeting, we also surfaced many good ideas for future events and programs, such as: Offering tutoring help after school in the hall, Participating in the Giving Tree Program at Church (with a focus on sending care packages to our active military from Canaryville), Having a Youth Night once a month at the new Fieldhouse, Distributing fliers about St. Gabriel throughout the neighborhood, Serving as Lectors at Church, etc. Because we need to involve a number of teens in planning these projects, I am holding a meeting on Saturday, Nov. 7th at 2:00 p.m. in the basement of the rectory for any teens who want to help out. Please spread the word.
We currently have about 65 members in our group. We intend to update regularly this website, so please click on the Youth Group link for the latest information. If anyone has any suggestions for our group, please contact Fr. Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Youth Group Distributing Flyers For Parish
St. Gabriel’s Parish Council has requested that we help distribute flyers throughout Canaryville, as part of an Archdiocesan effort to invite people to come to Church. So members of our Youth Group are asked to come to the Family Mass at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22nd, and right after mass, we will go over to the hall for light refreshments. Then fliers will be passed out to the teens, who will deliver them to the homes in our neighborhood. The teens will go out in small groups, and we should be able to cover our assignments in about one hour. Please plan on assisting us that day.
Care Packages to Military From Canaryville
We made a decision, that as an Advent project, we would send “care packages” to all the military from Canaryville who are currently serving our country. We all felt it would be a great idea for our Youth Group to write letters of support, which we would include in the packages. Here are the details of the project. There will be a notice in the bulletin for the next few weeks that will inform everyone that the Youth Group will put a few large boxes next to the “Giving Tree” in Church. The boxes will only be in Church for 2 weekends (Nov. 28-29 & Dec. 5-6), since we have to mail the “care packages” by the end of the first week in December. Everyone (including us!) will be asked to deposit items in the boxes (from a list that will be in the bulletin) that would be appreciated by the military personnel. Our hope is that EVERY youth group member will bring a number of items to be placed in the boxes. Then, we would like the members of the Youth Group to attend the 11:00 a.m. mass on Sun day, Dec. 6th. Right after Mass, we will then take the items collected in the large boxes, and create “care packages” to be mailed out. That would be the time also to bring your letter of support, and we will put an equal number of those letters in every care package. So, you can see, we need everyone’s participation to make this successful.
We have about 4 or 5 of our youth who have volunteered to write for this website, as well as an equal number who are going to try to get regular articles about our group placed in to the Bridgeport News. Thank you! If we all volunteer our many talents and abilities, we will truly Make A Difference. We also hope to have more information in the near future about reserving the new Fieldhouse for a Youth Night once a month, as well as ordering shirts for our group. Stay tuned!