Our high school ministry serves students in grades 9 through 12. Each program and activity is designed to explore and celebrate our faith in a way that is fun for all teenagers and welcoming to those who are not Catholic or affiliated with any faith.
We offer social programs to our young people so that they may have fun and fellowship with one another, which allows them to build healthy, faith-based friendships. We also offer spiritual programs that strive to connect our young people to the teachings of the Catholic Church and guide them to learn more about how to deepen their own relationship with God.
As teens enter high school it is essential for them to continue building their relationship with God and their peers. Below is a list of programs and events we offer to help teens grow in this process!
Not only do we strive to feed our young people spiritually, but we also do it physically! Following the 5 pm mass on Sundays from September to May, we provide dinner for all our high school teens from 6pm-7pm. This is an opportunity for our young people to enjoy a meal with friends and the adult volunteers that minister at youth group in order to build and continue establishing deep relationships with one another. There is no cost, but donations are always welcome.
CYM High School Youth Group
Following the CYM Dinner, we gather to feast on the richness of our Catholic faith. We begin with icebreakers and games to get to know one another. Then we engage our young people in discussing topics about our faith, the Church and current issues occurring in their lives. Small Groups are heavily used in our Youth Group which allows teens to break up in smaller numbers (4-7 teens per group) and dive deeper into the topic at hand. All high school age teens are invited. Friends are always welcomed. You don’t have to be Catholic to come, but know that we will be talking about the Catholic faith. Youth Group begins at 7 pm and ends at 8:30 pm.
Every Wednesday from September to May, YOUCAT meets from 6:30 pm – 8 pm in the John Paul II house. YOUCAT, named after the new Youth Catechism that was released at the 2011 World Youth day by Pope Benedict XVI, is for high school teens interested in diving deeper in their Catholic faith. We discuss theology and Church teaching in a teen-friendly small group format that is engaging and dynamic. Once a month, we attend confession and adoration together and break into even smaller groups for M.A.P.S., where teens get a chance to share how they are doing morally, apostolically, personally, and spiritually with their peers and small group leaders. This is a great group for anyone looking to be part of a close community and grow in their understanding of church teaching!
We have a special ministry just for our senior class! This group meets once a month for a potluck dinner and round-table discussion of a faith-based topic. It is a teen led ministry, so the teens pick the dates and topics of conversation. We focus on spiritual formation and growth outside of the comfort of high school ministries. This is a great ministry to prepare teens to stay grounded in their faith after high school!
“Fight Club” is designed to help young men in grades 7-12 strive for the virtues of purity and chastity. Through this fraternity, our young men will not merely be fighting for survival in the moral life, but thriving, leading their peers and becoming the next generation of Catholic men, to be pure and noble – the saints we need. In general, this group will include prayer, formation, brotherhood, and accountability.
“Fight Club” will meet at the same time as That Man Is You, the parish group for adult males. Doors open at 6am for coffee and HOT breakfast (including all you can eat bacon) in the Parish Life Center. The formation talk will start at 6:40am, followed by discussion groups (fathers and sons will meet in separate groups) and the morning will end with confessions at 8am.
Feminine Genius is our young women’s ministry for middle and high school girls (grades 6-12). Twice a month, we will gather for Christian sisterhood and spiritual accountability. We aim to form a strong bond as Catholic women and lead one another to lives of greater virtue through prayer, accountability, and Catholic teaching! Feminine Genius is named after the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II in his 1995 “Letter to Women.” We will be using curricula from Endow to guide us through the year, and we will supplement those resources with the teachings of Pope John Paul II and other saints as we learn what it truly means to be a Woman of God in our modern society. Feminine Genius meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month from 6:30-8:00pm.
Life is VERY Good: Rally & March
Every January our youth head to the Eagle Bank Arena and Washington, D.C. for a morning of prayer and praise at the Diocesan Life is Very Good Rally. We have mass with Bishop Burbidge and hear musical performances and inspirational talks from national and international speakers. We then head to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. to march to the Supreme Court building in a prayerful protest for an end to abortion.
Learn more here: https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/livg/
WorkCamp is a week-long mission trip designed to help high school students live out their Catholic faith. This is accomplished through direct service with people in need, communal prayer and worship, small group discussions, talks, and much more! At Work Camp, we meet with teens and volunteers from all across the diocese to make homes warmer, safer, and drier for families in need, right in our backyard. This is a transformative experience for everyone involved.
Find out more here: https://stmaryfred.org/workcamp/
The Steubenville Conference is an exciting annual event where high school teens from all over the United States gather for one weekend to celebrate their Catholic faith and reignite (or ignite for the first time!) their love and relationship with Jesus Christ. St. Mary teens travel to the conference on the main campus of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio to hear renowned speakers, musicians, and presenters who will empower them to stand firm in their faith. The conferences are held in the summer (usually in July) and require a commitment in mid to late January to attend.
Learn more here: https://steubenvilleconferences.com/youth/
Diocesan Kings Dominion Day
Every summer, St. Mary teens join middle and high schoolers from across the region in the annual Diocesan Kings Dominion Day! We start with 9:00am mass followed by a group trip to Kings Dominion and Soak City where we will spend a day of fun and fellowship with fellow Catholic youth!
Learn more here: https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/diocesan-kings-dominion-day/
Summer Bible Study