Here at Foundations in Faith, we love hearing good news from our grantees. And recently, St. James Parish in Stratford had nothing but good news to share with us and with the Diocese of Bridgeport!
St. James was one of three ministries selected to receive a Youth in Action grant last winter through the St. John Paul II Fund for Religious Education and Faith Formation. The grant would support the growth of the parish’s teen ministry.
And grow it did! Teen minister Lap Nguyen reported since receiving the grant, the teen ministry’s ranks have grown from just a few to over 30 members. The ministry continues to grow and continues to emphasize the three ethics that guide Foundations in Faith’s Youth in Action program:
Evangelization: The teen ministry has participated in the Synod at St. James, co-sponsored a “Baby Shower” for parishioners to donate diapers and other necessary childcare items to mothers in need, and participated in a game night with a deacon and two seminarians, where they were able to ask questions about their vocations to religious life.
Collaboration: The ministry hosted a pizza and games night and invited members of the nearby St. Mark’s teen ministry to join them. They also collaborated with the Respect Life Ministry to host a rosary and Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe to protect life.
Justice and equity: The ministry hosted a pizza night with parish members of Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT), and were able to discuss issues and concerns in their communities, families and lives. The teens also served sandwiches at the Lord’s Kitchen and collected needed items for Ukrainians impacted by the war with Russia.
Nguyen was extremely thankful for Foundations in Faith’s continued support of the parish’s teen ministry.
“This enables us to do what we need to motivate and give the Teens Ministry a boost, especially with T-shirts so the community will recognize our teens,” he said. “With guidance from the Holy Spirit, we will continue to do God’s will to help teens learn and strengthen their faith.”