December 6, 2010
An image of Pope Benedict is seen on a Vatican website as displayed on an Apple iPod touch. The site features iPhone and Facebook applications aimed at reaching the youth.

CNS PHOTO | ALESSANDRO BIANCHI, REUTERS

An image of Pope Benedict is seen on a Vatican website as displayed on an Apple iPod touch. The site features iPhone and Facebook applications aimed at reaching the youth.

ANNE-MARIE HUGHES
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON — New media are an important way for the Church to reach out to youth, presenters said at a Nov. 20 training session for youth leaders and volunteers.

“Use the power of new media resources to meet youth where they are,” said presenter Laurie Friesen.

“If you do not use the media these kids are experiencing, you will not reach them.”

Youth ministers and volunteers from Saskatoon and Prince Albert attended the daylong SaskCath Youth Ministry Training (YMT) session held at St. Anne’s Parish in Saskatoon.

Discussion about new media resources — such as podcasts, websites and YouTube — was a prominent part of the day.

“While we might think youth should be more reflective and contemplative, they are bombarded with sensory information more than ever before and that is what they are used to,” said Friesen. “Meet them there.”

Friesen is co-ordinator of youth and campus ministry for the Saskatoon Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy.

While encouraging the use of new media, Friesen also reminded planners to take time for quiet once youth have been engaged.

TEACH SILENCE

“Often we have to teach young people how to be silent,” said Friesen, stressing the importance of introducing silence as another part of prayer at youth events.

“If you can’t listen to yourself, you can’t listen for God. You can’t hear your vocation.”

SaskCath YMT is a new initiative of the province’s youth ministry offices to provide semi-annual training days to help those involved in youth ministry.