Who We Are
What is United Catholic Youth Ministries?
United Catholic Youth Ministries (UCYM) is a multi-parish ministry that supports youth, young adults, families, and the Hispanic/Latinx community in the parishes of St. Athanasius, St. Joan of Arc, St. Mary, and St. Nicholas and St. Athanasius and Pope John XXIII Schools. UCYM has four main ministry focuses:
Today, it is understood that young people are the present future of our church. In that, we must provide for and accompany young people now. Youth Ministry is not the same thing as Youth Group and Young Adult Ministry is about more than just becoming a Youth Minister after you have "aged out" of Youth Group. Youth Ministry is the pastoral ministry that connects young people to parish life (events, liturgy, Religious Education, etc.) and a Youth Group would be a section of Youth Ministry that provides community for young people that participate in parish life. Young Adult Ministry follows the same model.
Juan Pablo Padilla, Coordinator for Young Adult Engagement & Pastoral Juvenil for the Archdiocese of Chicago hosted a webinar about creating intentional spaces for encounter with our young people. This webinar is a great resource in helping parishes understand ministry to young people and, even before getting started, what needs to be understood and in your "tool box." Click HERE to watch the webinar.
UCYM was first established in October of 2016 by founding members Karie Ferrell, Adriel Gonzalez, and James Holzhauer-Chuckas with the support of Pastors Fr. Joseph Tito of St. Nicholas Parish, Fr. Kevin McCray of St. Mary Parish, and Fr. Hernan Cuevas of St. Athanasius Parish and was launched in January of 2017 with its first event hosted at St. Nicholas Parish. UCYM was established in close consideration of Renew My Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the need to collaborate. In March of 2018, UCYM hired its first director and began its formal ministry.