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Life Nights are fun, faith, and community all together. They are not a class where adults talk at teens, but places for teens to experience Christian community through activities, witness talks, prayer, and small groups.
Small Groups Are the Foundation We have many teens in faith formation, so the best way for a teen to build relationships is in a small group – this follows national trends.
We are very open to teens and parents forming their own groups of 6-8 same-sex groups – essentially, teens requesting each other. The best way to ensure these teens staying together is to have two or more of these parents offer to lead the group as faith formation ministers (click here for the role description).
Teen Ministries’ COVID Protocol:
Anyone is welcome to wear a mask, though they are not required. We will follow all government protocol required.
If any of the teens or adults are not feeling well, please stay home – this is one reason we offer the weeknight Encore on Zoom! We want to keep everyone safe, including all of our participants, our limited volunteer Faith Formation Ministers, and our parish staff.
We will do what we can to encourage air flow through the parish hall, so dress warmly – some of the groups go outside for the small group portion of the Life Night. One of the advantages to holding these events at the parish hall in Billerica Center is that it is at ground level and we may open some windows, unlike the hall at St. Andrew Church in North Billerica.
Encore Option on Weeknight
We will be offering a “make up” option virtually on a weeknight. Families / Teens should notify a Coordinator if the teen will be absent from the Life Night on Sunday, in order to get the unique Zoom Login ID for the Encore (held on a weekday, to be determined).
The Encore is intended for one-time absenteeism (conflict, sick, etc.) and not as a regular commitment.
For those participating in the Encore, the teen will be expected to be an active participant on Zoom. Our expectations will be clear and will be enforced – teens who do not participate on the virtual meeting will be considered as not participating, and teens who do not participate frequently will not be eligible (due to lack of preparation) to prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation or any of the other exciting opportunities we hope to offer in Teen Ministries. Please see our Zoom Guidelines.
All Teens Welcomed to the Life Nights
Teen Ministries’ Life Nights are for all teens in grades 9-12, not only for those teens preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation.
Our Life Nights focus on living as disciples (followers) of Jesus, not on preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation preparation happens separately.
We Are Looking for More Small Group Leaders
In order to guarantee the small groups requested, and to serve our teens well, we need many Small Group Leaders – not teachers – adults who are willing to journey with our teens.
I encourage parents – who want to ensure that their teen is matched with friends in their small group – to step up and be the group leaders themselves. Encourage the parents of your teens’ friends to help also!
It has never been easier to complete the required safe environment training because it can now be done remotely. For more information, click here for more information on our website.
Works of Mercy (Service)
We are focusing on experiences of works of mercy, and are no longer able to count service hours. Teens and families are encouraged to keep lists of all service-type experiences for themselves, as those lists may be useful for future scholarships and honor societies at school.
Service expectations were suspended by the Archdiocese during the COVID pandemic, and are not returning as part of preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation. However, each teen preparing for Confirmation will be asked to give an account for “how did you serve your fellow human beings?” If you are doing works of mercy or other service activities, please keep track of these yourself.
As we rebuild our Faith Formation Ministry after COVID, we will be able to offer more opportunities for teens to serve both God and neighbor in the works of mercy we hope to offer. This adjustment is keeping with regional and national trends in our ministry with teens.
The Sacrament of Confirmation
Teens who are enrolled in their second year of teen ministries will be eligible to begin the process of preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Much of this preparation will take place during the spring and summer, with reception of the sacrament scheduled in the fall. We will invite teens who are in their second year of teen ministries to move forward with the Confirmation sacramental preparation process each spring. Families may indicate this as part of the registration for faith formation.
For those teens and families who have older siblings who have been enrolled in the past, what we are doing now may be a major shift in many ways. We believe the direction we are headed will help us better achieve our goals of creating a welcoming community of teens and inviting them to grow in faith and relationship with God. I hope – when these teens are graduating high school – that they will have helped build a new ministry for teens, by teens and adults, who are excited about our Catholic Christian faith.
These improvements will require all of us to adjust our expectations. We will do our best to communicate with you regularly, so you know what to expect.
The adjustments we are making are keeping with the current best practices in serving this generation of teens.
Catholic High School Teens
Since teens attending Catholic High Schools have regular religion / theology classes, they are not required to participate in Teen Ministries’ Life Nights in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. These teens need only immediate sacramental preparation for Confirmation, which will be done distinctly. However, teens attending Catholic Schools are welcome to participate in anything Teen Ministries offers (Life Nights, Works of Mercy, etc.).
Families of parishioner-teens who are enrolled in a Catholic School should notify us, so we may contact you when it is time to begin the Confirmation preparation process.
Due to Tony’s departure from his ministry in Billerica, the Life Nights will likely begin now in October.
Life Nights during the 2022-2023 year will be held on Sundays 3:30-4:45pm in the Parish Hall, in Billerica Center. A Mass at St. Theresa Church will follow at 5:00pm.
A Life Night Encore will be offered each week on Zoom. Families/Teens should notify a Coordinator if the teen will be absent on Sunday, in order to get the unique Zoom Login ID for the Encore (held on a weekday, to be determined).
Sessions Planned for 2022-2023
|Date TBD||God or Unicorn|
|Date TBD||Religion or Freedom|
|Date TBD||Holy or Hyprocrite|
|Date TBD||Trust or Fear|
|The Work at Hand|
|Date TBD||Written in Humanity|
|Date TBD||In Your Hands|
|Date TBD||In Their Shoes|
|Date TBD||With Him|
|Date TBD||Death and Judgement|
|Date TBD||Heaven and Hell|
|Date TBD||Second Coming and Final Judgement|
|Date TBD||Literally Dead|
|Date TBD||Lowkey Upset|
|Date TBD||Clap Back|
Dustin Batista is the Assistant Coordinator of Teen Ministries. The Coordinator is currently TBD.
We would be happy to answer any questions you have by calling us at 978-663-8816 x448 (Dustin).
Our Goal: To create a community where all teens can actively be living and growing in our Catholic Christian faith.
Retreats with NET Ministries – Spring 2022
We offered a virtual retreat on April 5 and an on-campus retreat on April 8.