What does Faith Formation look like for youth in grades 9-11?
Our high-age ministry, called Cor, is named after the Latin word for heart. The goal is to help the high school youth really dig into the “heart” of the matter: who God is, who they are, why our Catholic faith makes a difference, and what they can do now and in the future to live out the heart of who they are as God’s sons and daughters. Saint Andre Bessette once wrote, “God is love and he loves us. That is the heart of the Christian faith!” Cor takes this “to heart” for our high school youth. We use curriculum from a variety of solid Catholic publishers, such as Ascension Press, Our Sunday Visitor, and more.
Cor is held twice per month on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00 PM. Most of the weeks are “every-other” but there are a few exceptions to work around holidays.
High school Cor includes four components: Gather, Proclaim, Break, and Send.
- Gather: Youth gather in the Bishop Bona Room with their Cor leaders. The gather time is for social time, catching up with each other, and introducing our evening’s material in a fun way.
- Proclaim: One of the Cor Leaders gives a brief (<25 minutes max) teaching on the lesson content of the evening. The Proclaim section is designed to be engaging and dialogical – not a lecture! Often we’ll use video clips from YouTube or Formed.org or one of our curriculum resources, but the primary way of presenting the material is dialogue with the teens rather than “watch this video” or “listen to the Cor Leader talk.”
- Break: The high school youth split up into two small groups. Cor Leaders facilitate each small group. Everyone relocates to two of our youth/couch rooms: the Immaculate Heart room and the Saint Paul room in the faith formation hallway. In small group, leaders facilitate discussion, activities, and get to know the youth better so everyone feels they have a place in the group, will be listened to, and grow in faith and friendships. Small group really is the “main event” for Cor. While the Proclaim (teaching) time is essential, the application and discussion in small group is what will last in their memory when they leave.
- Send: We end our evening in Church with closing prayer. We also review reverent (respectful) behavior and allow the youth to be in the Presence of Jesus Christ, truly present in the tabernacle!
Family Faith Nights: This refers to the evenings when the parent(s) or grandparents attend with their youth, rather than simply dropping off and returning. High school families are invited to all six Family Faith nights with the rest of the younger families, but only the following are “required.”
- Sunday, September 10, 2023 OR September 17, 2023 (makeup date): High School Cor Launch Party à a Sunday night for high school youth and their parents/grandparents to set us up for a great year ahead! Includes potluck supper, prayer, and more!
- Wednesday, November 1, 2023: All Saints’ Day à Mass for the Holy Day of Obligation
- Friday OR Saturday, December 1 OR 2, 2023: Live Nativity! Our parish’s legendary Advent event! All high school youth, especially those in Confirmation, are expected to volunteer at least one night (only a two-hour time committment) .
- Wednesday, February 14, 2024: Ash Wednesday à the beginning of Lent! A great day to be at Mass!
What’s a Cor Leader ?
Because Cor is not a traditional classroom style of faith formation, the adult leaders are not called catechists. Cor Leaders are responsible for presenting the curriculum in an engaging and relevant way, just like a catechist, but they also lead and participate in the games, activities, and small group discussions. Another reason they’re called Cor Leaders is because in Cor we are focused on getting to the core – the very center – of what really is going on in the heart and mind of a young disciple who is following Jesus in the midst of these challenging high school years. That takes a lot of care, prayer, and listening. I am so grateful for our Cor Leaders this year! Please pray for them and the youth they serve! If you have a heart for high school youth of this age, you are invited to learn more and help out as an aide or substitute. Please pray about it and reach out to Maggie if you’d like to serve our youth in grades 9-11! Thank you!