At the direction of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and the Board of Directors of The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens (CFBQ), the Development Staff of CFBQ, in conjunction with the Office of Faith Formation, have initiated a ‘Pilot Program’ to address the changing demographics of our communities, especially as it pertains to Youth Evangelization.
Over the last several months the Foundation has collaborated with the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation to establish a comprehensive Youth Evangelization Vision and an applicable Pilot Program for implementation. A Committee consisting of Diocesan Youth Ministers, Lay Leaders, Principals, Pastors and Administrators was established and helped to create the ‘framework’ of the pilot program to be tested on 4 parishes and 2 clusters: 3 from Brooklyn and 3 from Queens, which will be funded by the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens. Parishes and clusters for the Pilot Program were selected to provide a varied and diverse sampling of the many different communities present in Brooklyn and Queens. The committee was prudent in attempting to include as many ethnic groups as possible; parishes with and without schools; clusters with and without collaborative youth programs and sites of variable size.
Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello, Vicar for Development, applauded the work of the committee and the number of hours that have gone into developing a strategic vision for a comprehensive youth ministry initiative in the Diocese of Brooklyn. “It is so important for us to pass on our faith to our young people and train them to be leaders so that the church can continue in its mission,” he exclaimed.
After considering a number of different program options the committee selected the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry model as the best program for overall implementation. The Program will consist of mandatory professional development and certification for Parish Youth Evangelization Boards, as well as a stipend for a part-time Youth Minister to facilitate the program in the parish and/or cluster.
Although only a limited number of sites were selected for the pilot program beginning this September, it is our hope after the conclusion of the ‘pilot program’, that the initiative will be implemented in every parish and/or cluster in the Diocese of Brooklyn with funding provided by the Catholic Foundation.