Christus Ministries empowers young adults and parishes to grow spiritually, change lives, and transform communities.
We focus on helping parishes form young adults who have a strong sense of discipleship and a clear desire to discover and live out their personal vocation (true self and mission in life). Our four pillars of ongoing faith development help young adults develop a prayer life, a discerning heart, a collaborative way of serving, and a connection to parish life.
Christus Ministries hopes to combine personal transformation with strengthening community. It harnesses the charism of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to foster a spiritual growth that is personal, communal, vocational, and especially Christ-centered. It promotes an integrated vision of life that cultivates strong relationships, personal prayer and reflection, and a commitment to Christian service. Such a way of living is experienced through a community of faith (i.e. as a small group, as a family, and as a parish), a community that promotes the discernment and development of one’s personal vocation. This personal vocation involves focusing one’s energies and passions toward a way of living that produces a stronger sense of identity and mission, aiming toward more lasting and universal good. Thus, more than a young adult outreach, Christus Ministries seeks to enliven parishes by forming a new generation of committed lay leaders and healthy families.
The CHallenge & response
The U.S. Bishops have identified four principal hungers among young adults: hunger for healthy personal identity, hunger for intimacy in relationships, hunger for life-giving spirituality, and hunger for meaningful work. Young adults have greater access to different ideas and information than any previous generation. Yet, they experience the highest rates of alienation from family and community and distrust most conventional structures and authorities.
Through more than two decades of experience in ministry to young adults we have seen how a collaborative environment of mutual empowerment enables young adults to draw out their complementary gifts for leadership and service. The people form the structure and ground the community, drawing others in by their way of relating and serving. Our experience with Caritas Retreats confirms how a community can create an atmosphere that encourages everyone to grow in greater depth and beyond interpersonal relationship into communion.
Our basic approach is to help people, especially young adults, befriend Jesus personally and deeply. Like the first disciples in the Gospels (cf. John 1:35-51 or Luke 5:1-11), they become more effective bridge builder, connecting their friends and Jesus. As they allow God to form them, they become more ardent apostles and effective servant leaders. Our central task of Christian discipleship and leadership is to allow God to lead, liberate, and transform us as persons. In the process, we become more helpful agents of transformation, witnesses, and evangelizers.
We hope to accomplish this by:
- Consulting with parish leaders, helping them discern ways to better draw young adults, given their parishes’ current situation
- Organizing and facilitating weekend retreats and other Ignatian prayer programs as well as service immersion programs
- Training young adult friendly leaders through integrated spiritual and community formation
Our "Official" Team includes Tam Lontok, Jaclyn Torres, ThiThoa Ton, Jen Coito, and Fr. Tri Dinh SJ. Our Unofficial Team includes many many dedicated people who give much of their time, talents, and energies to help bring the dream to reality. Click here for photos.