Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14  

“Let the children come” says Jesus.  We as parents and loved ones understand the absolute need to care for the pastoral or spiritual needs of our newborn to pre-teen age children. We have them Baptized, go to church, teach them the Catholic religion, and have them Confirmed.  Then many of us, let them “go” and hope for the best.  This can have a detrimental impact on young people ages 12 to 18 who need continued support and guidance in their lives.  It’s the time of their lives when they establish who they are to become.  With so many situations the way they are now, especially in the current culture of immediate gratification, overconsumption, and dehumanization of the human person, children in this age group are often left alone and without support.  It's in these moments that they are left making decisions and formulating positive or negative perspectives that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  We as a church, as a family need to help our young people grow in Love.  Youth Ministry establishes a safe and supportive environment for them to grow, learn, and share the love of Christ. This combined with a faith, based community, will help our children to become, “The Best Versions of Themselves”.

Youth Ministry is essential in the continuing formation of faith in our lives.  With a focus on "Discipleship, Service, and Knowledge", Youth Ministry prepares, strengthens and supports our young people as they set out into the world as new "Disciples".  Living, Sharing, and Teaching the Catholic faith.   

 We have established wonderful faith strengthening and character enriching programs available to all youth in our diocese.  Such events include Leadership Weekend, Lenten Retreat, Youth Rally, Camp Guggenheim (A six-week  summer camp program in the Adirondacks), Teen Vision, March for Life as well as individualized regional events crafted and curated by Parish Youth Ministers and Pastors.  The Youth Office also provides Youth Minister training, certification and on-going education.  We are also the "central hub" for all youth-related resources which are available to any, and all Youth Ministers, Youth Workers and family in the Diocese.  If you need ideas on how to engage youth in your parish or even your neighborhood, we are here to help.  If you need digital or hard copy resources to aid you in establishing or invigorating your youth program, we are here to help.   The office of Youth Ministry is your “go to” resource for all diocesan youth needs.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions, comments, and ideas.  I sincerely want “You” to be part of the movement that, leads our youth to become the shining light of Christ in the world today. 

God Bless You,

Tom Semeraro

Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Ogdensburg

315-393-2920 ext. 1415