Youth - NCYC Closing Mass

Together we THRIVE!

By Angie Poat.

Statistics reveal the trend that teenagers and young adults consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. Many recognize God as a creator, who set the world in motion, like a master clockmaker, distant and absent from daily life. Subsequently, a personal relationship with God and participation in a Church community is undesirable.

I am proud to give testimony that reveals a different picture. Since beginning the role of Diocesan Youth Minister in June, I have personally encountered hundreds of young people who are deeply religious, spiritual and seek relationships within the Catholic community.

They have raised thousands of dollars to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference, they arise early to attend Mass before school starts, they participate in works of mercy and service, lead music, retreats, attend Holy Hours, March for Life, use prayer APPS, mentor younger youth, pray rosaries and lead virtuous sporting events.

They attend youth ministry events sandwiched between school, homework, extra-curriculars, sports, jobs and family obligations. These young people, like the first Christians, are counter cultural.

Sometimes we do not “see” them because they do not want to bring attention to themselves. However, I assure you they exist. They are in parishes, schools and pockets around the diocese. They all need our help to THRIVE! It is hard to live a holy life in a secular culture.

THRIVE! is a diocesan Youth Ministry initiative to grow and support youth ministry that is unified, sustainable and rooted in the joy of the Gospel. A thriving ministry will be unique to each setting. There is no one model that works for every parish, school, retreat or ministry.

Comparing one ministry or location to another often leads to disunity and despair. Thus, THRIVE! provides support, networking and ministry tools, rooted in Christ and peer relationships, to keep both the minister and the ministry moving forward.

THRIVE! ministry events are held monthly, typically open to high school, college and adult leaders. The agenda includes prayer, praise and worship, networking, focus groups, and an applied ministry topic and experience.

A student from St. Henry District High School, said of the last THRIVE!, “It was exactly what I needed!”

An adult from St. Mary Parish noted, “Wow!! Another amazing THRIVE! night. I learn so much and I love getting to meet more of this faith-filled youth-loving community … so impactful.”

Join us and help diocesan teens THRIVE! through your prayer, financial sponsorship, and personal witness. “Planted in the house of the Lord we shall flourish and bear fruit!” cf. Ps 92:14-15.

Consult the youth ministry section of the diocesan ( for specific ideas and events.

“…although it is never easy to approach young people, two things have become increasingly evident: the realization that the entire community has to be involved in evangelizing them, and the urgent requirement that young people take on a greater role in pastoral outreach.” Pope Francis, “Christus Vivit,” (Christ Is Alive!”) 202.

Angie Poat is the diocesan Youth Minister for the Diocese of Covington, Ky.