The St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Youth Ministry Program is led by our New Youth Evangelization Director hire this past December 2018!
Welcome Miss Jessica Martin and thank you for serving our Youth!

Our Youth Ministry Program has joined up with our Immaculate Conception Catholic Mission in Canton, NC and the parishioners of St. Margaret of Scotland in Maggie Valley, NC to serve youth throughout Haywood County.  Please do not confuse Youth Ministry with Catholic Faith Formation (CFF), because the programs are both different and complimentary at the same time.  St. John the Evangelist has a CFF Director and a Youth Evangelization Director – their ministries are different and at the same time complimentary.
All too often CFF (Catholic Faith Formation), from the perspective of a teen, is too cerebral.  Too much intellectual material (Catechesis of the Faith) that is important, yet presented in a dry classroom environment focused on memorization.
Fr. Richard, our Pastor, has said before: “If the teaching of the faith is primarily cerebral (classroom instruction) and lacks experiences (faith-filled events with peers their age) that move their young hearts – there is something between the head and the heart of these youth – their mouth – and they all too often vomit back out what they perceive as forced spoon feeding of the faith upon them.  One may not agree with this, but the reality is for teens – rules without relationship all to often result in rebellion.  All too often pastors hear these words from parents: ‘my teen, my college student, my young adult child is away from the Faith. Why Father?  It’s not a silver bullet answer, but it just may be that they never developed a real relationship with Jesus Christ through peer organized experiences that complimented their Catechetical Formation.  I may be wrong, but after 20 years of working with teens – I may be right.”  
In other words, education involves instruction (lessons) and experiences (engaging the heart).  Education of the youth, primarily teens, in our time must take into account three things that are very important to them: Freedom, Friends, and Food.  On a spiritual level, our Catholic Faith offers all three.  Freedom: Jesus said: “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free (John 8:32); Friends: Jesus said: “I no longer call you slaves, I call you friends.” (John 15:15); Food: Jesus said: “I am the Bread of Life…” (John 6:35).  This also applies to the human level of a youth’s outlook on life – Freedom, Friends, and Food are important!  We at St. John the Evangelist seek to engage our youth both in mind and heart as they walk towards and with Jesus!  St. John Paul II clearly outlined this Catechesis and Life Experience in his October 16, 1979 Apostolic Exhortation:
“It is useless to play off othropraxis against orthodoxy: Christianity is inseparably both.  Firm and well-thought-out convictions lead to courageous and upright action, the endeavor to educate the faithful to live as disciples of Christ today calls for and facilitates a discovery in depth of the mystery of Christ in the history of salvation.” Catechesi Tradendae, 22.

Our Youth Ministry Program consist of three primary levels (based on grade) with a focus on accompanying teens in their encounter and walk with Jesus and His Church:

Haywood Catholic Youth

This high school youth ministry program offers 9th – 12th grade youth an opportunity to lead.  They program involves weekly adoration, faith formation, social, and service events.  With adult mentor support they assume a greater role in planning youth faith-filled events at St. John the Evangelist Church and throughout the Haywood County Community.  See link to our Teen Pilgrimages to learn more about our Annual first full week after July 4th weekend Southern Catholic Heritage Pilgrimages (four location series) for High School Teens.  Annual participation in The Life Teen sponsored Steubenville Atlanta Conference is capstone event for our teens.  Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket.Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.…”. Matthew 5:14-16. This is the goal of L.I.T. – that all may see our teens good deeds and glorify the Heavenly Father!

– Our PowerPoint PDF File – L.I.T. High School Youth Group Overview
– Our PowerPoint PDF File – February Presentation to Parents – Youth Ministry & Family Life Center Renovations.
– Our PowerPoint PDF file – February Detailed Information about June 7-14, 2019 New Orleans Pilgrimage for High School Teens.
English and Spanish.

Waynesville youth go on New Orleans pilgrimage


Please visit the blog of one of our College Age Mentors, Stephen Wenzel: