-- BISHOP GREGORY PARKES
Click image to visit new Diocesan Website for more information on how you can stay connected to your faith during this period of quarantine.
REACHING OUR YOUTH IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT
Youth ministers across the diocese are utilizing technology to develop creative ways for youth and their families to stay connected to their faith during this period of social distancing. The Diocese of St. Petersburg has created a Youth and Parent Quarantine Survival Kit with tips and resources to stay connected. Please click the image below for more information.
For a few weeks, this announcement had been inching closer, as our country finds new ways to collectively fight the spread of COVID-19. I mean I knew it was coming — I saw it on the horizon — but, I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think it would actually come to fruition. Receiving the Eucharist and participating at Mass has always been such an important part of my faith journey, and at first glance, the suspension of public Masses really does feel like a loss. But, God’s will is here, now. It is present in every single moment. And this present moment is offering a brand new opportunity to connect with Christ and each other in some pretty cool ways. By: Rachel Penate
Participating in the Mass Remotely: A How-To
Just as you would prepare your mind, body, and heart for Mass on any given Sunday, it is strongly encouraged that you don’t let these good habits of preparation go during this time. Here are a few tips for full participation of daily or Sunday Mass via digital streaming.
Prior to Mass Starting
1. Pray and read the readings ahead of time. You can find the daily readings here.
2. Engage in discussion about the readings. Consider reading and discussing the readings with your family at home (or friends over the phone). Both Life Teen’s Summit and Lectio Live offer digital opportunities to discuss the Sunday readings before or after each Sunday Mass.
3. Choose a live stream or Mass recording to watch. Since it is important to remain connected to your parish community during this time, we recommend identifying if your parish has a Live Stream of your daily or Sunday Masses. (If you don’t already know how to access this streaming service, check out your parish’s website for more information.) If your parish does not have an option available, check out the list of high-quality Mass streaming options below.
4. Get dressed. Maybe not necessarily in your “Sunday Best,” but definitely out of your pajamas.
5. Invite others to join. Plan to pray with your family, but if they will not join you, try to virtually loop in some friends via FaceTime or Zoom.
6. Bring a journal. Have a journal and pen, and be ready to write any of your thoughts, reflections, or prayers as you go through the Mass. This can be a great way to organize your prayer and remain engaged throughout the live stream of the Mass.
7. Set the scene. Do what you can to create a space set apart for prayer — of course, you’ll have your computer, streaming the Mass, but consider lighting a few candles, and if you have any sacred images or statues around the house, bring them into the space you’ll be praying in. If you don’t have any, try to print some out, or organize your screen in a way that lets you look at sacred images, while you see the live stream of the Mass.
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
WHAT IS LIFETEEN?
Life Teen is the high school faith formation program for 9th-12th teens at St. Stephen. It consists of Life Teen Mass followed by Life Nights. At the weekly Mass on Sundays at 5:30 pm teens and their families experience the depths of God's love through the Word, the community, and the Eucharist. Relevant preaching, amazing music and teen participation as liturgical ministers bring the Catholic Mass to life. Following the Mass, the Youth Minister and Core members lead the teens deeper into their Catholic faith in the Life Night experience. Life Nights take place from 5:30 – 8:00 pm and includes Mass.
A Life Night is a very interactive environment where teens participate in icebreakers, dinner, fellowship, talks, prayer and small groups discussion in order to enhance the learning experience. They also participate in retreats, service opportunities, etc. As a Catholic faith community, the teens grow in understanding of what it means to be young and Catholic in the new millennium. The teens are affirmed, educated, and challenged to live the Gospel. The Life Nights will be lead by the Coordinator of Youth Ministry and the Life Teen Core Team, made up of adult volunteers. For more information about Life Teen, please contact Joanna Jewell, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at 813-671-4434.
Life Teen High School Registration listed below - please download form and drop off or mail to our Faith Formation Office, 10428 Saint Stephen Circle, Riverview, FL along with $20 registration fee. Please know teens attending Life Teen will need to register. Each teen will be given a St. Stephen Catholic Church Youth T-Shirt. Form more information, please contact Joanna!
Dates & Times
Opportunities to participate in the Life Teen Mass. Call Joanna to sign up!
Parents - How can adults help with Life Teen? There are plenty of opportunities to become involved with this awesome ministry!
Core Team - Life Teen is constantly in need of passionate, Catholic adults who want to mentor teens whether you're 21 or 81. A Core member helps lead in group discussions, plan youth group nights, and guide teens in their prayer life. We need adults that can commit to either night weekly. We are most in need of women who can help lead these teens in their faith.
Core Support - If you have a talent that you think would help this ministry but can't commit every week then this is for you. Whether you are artistic, tech savvy, a great public speaker or any other gift please let us know and we can help you use that gift for Christ!
Meal Sign Up - Every Sunday after Mass we feed the teens dinner. We also need parent involvement for meal sign ups on Wednesday evenings. We sure could use your help! They are hungry High Schoolers and 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm is a long time. We ask families to sign up for a week to provide the meal. The current families that help with this are typically asked twice a year. If enough families sign up it could be only once a year. Please consider helping with this need. Click HERE to sign up for meals! Thank you!
MEAL SIGN UP GENIUS - CLICK HERE! Support our teens by preparing and meal and dropping off at the Family Life Center at 5:00 pm before Mass - thank you!
In order to receive Constant Contact emails regarding Life Teen please contact
Joanna Jewell, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry