Mon - Thurs: 8:00 - 5:15


(217) 698-8500


1615 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62702

Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Resourses for Youth Ministry

Catechetical Material

Conformity Listing of Catechetical Texts and Series

Follow the link above to the official list of catechetical materials that the USCCB has approved.


Forms and Documents for Youth Ministry

Look for a comprehensive Youth Ministry handbook in the future.







Professional Reading List

  • East, Tom, et al. Effective Practices for Dynamic Youth Ministry. Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 2002. ISBN: 0-88489-806-7.
  • East, Tom, et. al. Leadership for Catholic Youth Ministry: A Comprehensive Resource. New London, CT: Twenty Third, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-58595-732-3.
  • Liberia Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1997.  Citta del Vaticano: Liberia Editrice Vaticana, 1997. ISBN: 1-57466-110-8.
  • McCorquodale, Charlotte, Victoria Shepp, and Leigh Sterten. National Study of Youth and Religion: Analysis of the Population of Catholic Teenagers and Their Parents. Washington, DC: National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, 2004. ISBN 1-932619-04-6.
  • Mercadante, Frank. Engaging a New Generation: A Vision for Reaching Catholic Teens. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-59276-722-9.
  • Mercadante, Frank. Growing Teen Disciples: Strategies for Really Effective Youth Ministry. Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 1998. ISBN: 0-88489-781-8.
  • NFCYM/NALM/NCCL. National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers: Serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders, Youth Ministry Coordinators, Pastoral Associates, and Parish Life Coordinators. Washington, DC: National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry et. al., 2003. ISBN: 0-9712975-6-8.
  • Roehlkepartain, Eugene C. Building Assets in Congregations: A Practical Guide for Helping Youth Grow Up Healthy. Minneapolis: Search Institute, 1998. ISBN: 1-57482-113-X.
  • Smith, Christian. Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. New York: Oxford, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-518095-4.
  • USCCB. National Directory for Catechesis. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005. ISBN: 1-57466-443-3.
  • USCCB. Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1997. ISBN: 1-57466-007-7.
  • Weddell, Sherry. Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2012.  ISBN: 978-1-61278-590-5.
  • White, Michael & Tom Corcoran.  The Story of a Parish Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful Reaching the Lost Making Church Matter. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria, 2013.  ISBN: 978-1-59471-386-6.

Good Books about the Catholic Faith for Teenagers

  • Auer, Jim. Handbook for Today’s Catholic Teen. Liguori, MO: Liguori, 2004. ISBN: 0-7648-1173-8.
  • Daley, Michael J., ed. Why Do Catholics . . . ?: Teens Respond to Questions About the Faith. Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-88489-915-0.
  • Johnson, Kevin Orlin. Why Do Catholics Do That?: A Guide to the Teachings and Practices of the Catholic Church. (Formerly entitled, Expressions of the Catholic Faith.) New York: Ballantine Books, 1994. ISBN: 0-345-39726-6.
  • Miller, Michael J. (translator). YouCat: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-58617-516-0.  Original German edition: YOUCAT deutsch, Pattloch Verlag GmbH & Co., 2010.
  • Singer-Towns, Brian. The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth. 2nd Edition. Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-88489-987-7.
  • Vitek, John M. Living the Questions Jesus Asks: A Guide for Teens. Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 2002. ISBN: 978-0-88489-782-8.
  • St. Romain, Philip. Catholic Answers to Fundamentalists’ Questions. Booklet Edition. Liguori, MO: Liguori, 1994. ISBN: 978-0892432202.


51 Parish Youth Ministry Program Ideas


  • Maintain an active Youth Ministry Council
  • Ask a teenager to be a representative on the Parish Council
  • Invite adults and teens to work together writing grants to fund specific projects
  • Have a team create and implement an advertising campaign of all the ways young people can connect with their parish


  • Sponsor a variety of Youth Groups
  • Sponsor separate Junior High Youth Groups
  • Ensure all ages have ongoing faith formation opportunities in your PSR program
  • Have Totus Tuus at the parish over the summer
  • Invite Scouts in your parish to earn a religious award from the Catholic Committee on Scouting
  • Distribute brochures with information on how families can continue their faith formation traditions at home
  • Sponsor Poster or Essay Contests on various religious themes
  • Invite your pastor or parochial vicar to host a “Stump the Priest” night where teens can ask their questions about the Catholic faith

Community Life

  • Sponsor non-IHSA athletic teams and challenge other parishes
  • Host Open Gym or other recreation night at the parish hall
  • Plan a camping weekend for families at an area campsite
  • Build a float for your parish for a local parade
  • Host a Movie Night and discuss from a faith perspective
  • Create a drama club that presents faith-based productions for the parish or community


  • Host parish retreat such as Luke 18
  • Participate in diocesan youth events or retreats
  • Send a group to Youth Day Celebration at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
  • Participate in the National Catholic Youth Conference
  • Connect high school teens with Teens Encounter Christ
  • Sponsor a Catholic artist for a Parish Mission or Concert
  • Send a group of college students to World Youth Day

Justice & Service

  • Take a group of teens on a week-long mission trip or create your own service experience in the local community
  • Host a 24-Hour Food Fast with Catholic Relief Services
  • Participate in Operation Rice Bowl from Catholic Relief Services
  • Hold a “Souper” Bowl of Caring on Superbowl Sunday
  • Engage the entire community in Pro-Life activities during the month of October
  • Go Christmas caroling and ask for donations for the Office for Missions
  • Help with the local Special Olympics programs
  • Participate in the March for Life Youth Pilgrimage
  • Host a blood drive and recruit teens of age to be first-time donors

Leadership Development

  • Send high school teens to Called and Sent, a ministry of the Office for Vocations
  • Attend the One Bread One Cup Liturgical Leadership Conference at St. Meinrad Archabbey
  • Attend Notre Dame’s Vision program
  • Partner with a scout program and invite the young people in the parish to participate

Pastoral Care

  • Invite people in the parish to send cards to teenagers to mark special occasions (e.g. birthday, graduation, Confirmation)
  • Have regular blessings for various occasions for teens at Mass (e.g. back to school, new driver, school dances)
  • Ask the local high school if you can have a display table in a common room during lunch
  • Distribute care packages to all students during mid-term and final exam weeks

Prayer & Worship

  • Have a special celebration for youth who serve regularly in liturgical roles as Mass
  • Have a youth choir at a regular weekend Mass
  • Ask the ushers to train young people to fill this function from time to time
  • Host a teen-led evening prayer service during specific liturgical seasons
  • Help a group of students plan the local “See You at the Pole” event in September
  • Have a prayer breakfast for students who will soon be graduating
  • Perform a “Living Stations” devotional during Lent
  • Invite young men to be Pontifical Servers for our Bishop
  • Come to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a special liturgy such as the Chrism Mass or Easter Vigil