LANCASTER — Our Lady of Pompeii Parish is generating new excitement in the renewal of their youth groups. In the last few months, both parishioners and non-parishioners attended youth nights and events which enriched the participant's faith and created a growing sense of camaraderie.
"The mission of youth ministry at Our Lady of Pompeii is to welcome and support teenagers and their families," said Father David Richards, the parish administrator. "Our aim is to provide opportunities for youth to grow closer to Christ and to create for them a sense of belonging."
The Young Christians at Work Retreat, hosted by the Diocese of Buffalo in conjunction with other area parishes, was among the recent activities several of the parish's youth had the opportunity to join. Kids aged 11 to 17 have assisted in the spaghetti dinners and meat raffles, in addition to coordinating their own bottle and can fundraiser and hosting the first Family Fun Fright Night for young families of the parish.
"A number of youths have been involved in faith experiences including the annual diocesan Youth Convention, hosting an Advent penance service for area parishes within the vicariate, and leading Stations of the Cross during the Lenten season which enriched their faith and created a growing sense of fellowship," said Holly Hooton, coordinator of Youth Ministry.
Hooton noted how spiritually strong many of the youth are, which can be attributed to the great concern the entire parish displays for its young people. "An overwhelming majority of parents, and others in our parish community, are concerned about the type of ministry that is available for our youths," she said.
To answer their concerns, Our Lady of Pompeii Youth Ministry has weekly youth gatherings and events for tweens and teens. In addition to Vacation Bible School and parish religious gatherings, summer activities include multi-parish softball, splash ball for youth entering sixth to eighth grades, kayaking excursions for high schoolers entering ninth to 12th grade, and family centered activities, including the parish picnic and Miss Buffalo Cruise. This September, a luau will kick off activates for the fall season and will include the second annual Family Fun Fright Night in October.
Ongoing, the junior high/middle school group hold their meetings on Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. High school students meet on Thursdays, from 7:30-9 p.m., in the St. John Paul II room at the Ministry Center, 129 Laverack Ave., Lancaster. Pizza, pop and light snacks are served.
For more information and activity notices, visit www.OLPParish.com or call Holly Hooton at 716-683-6522, ext. 112 for details.