Youth of the Kingdom
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
A familiar quote from St. Paul ironically happens to be one of my own personal inspirations as I reflect on my experience as coordinator of Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese. I can’t help but look back at the day that I received the news informing me that I would be the point person for the Archdiocese. It was as if God himself had knocked and I was answering His call.
This year has been a blessing for me because never would I have imagined meeting so many wonderful people committed to working in Hispanic outreach. When you are used to working mostly at a parish level, all of your energy is focused at forming disciples at the local level. The struggles and joys of the local community form your opinions and feelings about the larger Church community. However, when you are able to step outside of your own reality and see the larger Church community, the learning and growing possibilities are endless.
Working as coordinator has brought about many new experiences and blessings, but with these blessings also come challenges. One of the greatest challenges is part of the job description. “You are to be the bridge that links the Hispanic community to the larger Church,” I was told. That includes some immense responsibilities: engaging Hispanic youth; encouraging and empowering Hispanic young adults to take leadership roles within their parishes; increasing awareness of the needs of our immigrant brothers and sisters.
I sometimes felt I had been handed an “impossible task.”
It is my great faith in God that allows me to understand that this work is not simply an ordinary job, but an extraordinary vocation – and that what I have been asked to do is not easy but also not impossible. God would be providing me with the strength, courage and necessary people to persevere in this outreach.
The Hispanic Youth/ Young Adult ministry is in great need of development of solid youth ministry programs and leadership formation. I ask for your continuing prayers, as well as the commitment of your time and energy. If you find yourself drawn to working with youth in any capacity, please feel free to contact OYYA at (215) 965-4625. Please contact me directly to learn about our upcoming retreat movement and other ways to become involved.
I give thanks to God for allowing me this opportunity, and I thank the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for seeing the importance of this ministry.
Maria Reyes is the coordinator for Hispanic Youth and Youth Adult Ministry for the archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adults.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Share this story