Diocese welcomes 2016-2017 Youth Board

Fri, Jul 8th 2016 08:00 am
Outgoing Diocesan Youth Board member, Clare Ahne (left) passes her candle light to new incoming Youth Board member Sarah Wellence (right) as the 2016-2017 Diocesan Youth Board is installed during ceremonies at the Catholic Center. (Patrick McPartland/Managing Editor)
Outgoing Diocesan Youth Board member, Clare Ahne (left) passes her candle light to new incoming Youth Board member Sarah Wellence (right) as the 2016-2017 Diocesan Youth Board is installed during ceremonies at the Catholic Center. (Patrick McPartland/Managing Editor)

The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry installed the 2016-2017 Diocesan Youth Board in June in the Catholic Center in downtown Buffalo. These 10 new members will follow a long tradition of teens helping other teens by planning youth ministry activities for the diocese.

The role of the Youth Board is twofold. It gives teens an outlet for their creativity and an opportunity to develop leadership skills. By empowering teenagers to be advocates for the young Church, the diocesan Youth Board seeks to draw young people into responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Church. The Youth Board works to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person in the diocese.

The new board members will begin their work this August during an overnight retreat where they will get acquainted and start planning events, such as the ever-popular annual diocesan youth convention. The members will also continue to be links between their parishes and department programs and services. To prepare for their work, all board members will attend the Christian Leadership Institute, where the board members acquire leadership and communication skills including small group facilitation, learning leadership styles, the process of decision-making, and consensus. This way, all board members are able to speak the same language throughout the year and have been able to form community with youth from around the diocese.

Any high schooler seeking a role on the board should be a person of faith, with a dedication to their peers and their Church. The Youth Board requires a commitment of time and energy along with a desire to grow and learn throughout the year. The abilities to communicate clearly and work cooperatively in a group are necessary for the success of the board.

All board members attend the Christian Leadership Institute, where they learn different leadership styles, then get acquainted at an overnight retreat Aug. 15-16 at Christ the King Seminary, in East Aurora.   

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