There are ongoing opportunities for the teens to participate in. The teens are represented on the Parish Council; they act as Lectors in the Parish and participate as altar servers. The teens can volunteer to run classes, organize retreats, put together service projects or start something new. People draw closer to Christ in their own way, and at St. George there are opportunities to do this in many different ways. The teens not only learn together but they can have fun together.
St. George strives for consistency in all the different outreaches and ministries that we provide. By having shared faith experiences the teens are able to relate to one another in a specific way. An older teen can talk to a freshman and have the same memories from a retreat, and in this find a connection. Examples of this would be our confirmation retreat center at Trinita and Sean Forrest’s 9th grade retreat. The teens are brought together by common experiences with their faith. One of the aspects that make our program so successful is that the teens that go off to college remain active participants in the program.
Because the peer ministry program is run by the teens, it is constantly empowering others teens to get involved. Teenagers are entering the program wanting to participate. It is teaching them leadership skills and overall ownership of their faith. It is when you are teaching that you learn, and teenagers here are living out their faith together and coming full circle into the Truths and doctrine of the Church. The teens are witnesses to each other and “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers. If he listens to teachers, it is because he is a witness.”(Pope Paul VI. E.N. 41)
St. George’s community is a family. It is a comfortable environment where the teens are able to share in their experiences together. Through this, many service projects have been born. There have been mission trips, for example, Haiti and Appalachia, holiday meals at Columbus house, AIDS interfaith, rosary bead making and anything that interests someone to become involved in. The peer ministry program is always open to the teens wants. The teens are also visible volunteering and sponsoring at the younger children’s events such as first Reconciliation and Christmas pageants, where seeds are planted in the hearts and minds of the youngest members of the parish. We start small; ministering to the to the teens themselves in the program, then to the Parish as a whole, then into the town, then beyond the town into other areas of the state such as New Haven, then out into the world such as Haiti.