Leading Teens Closer to Christ
As a Eucharist-centered movement within the Roman Catholic Church, Life Teen leads teenagers and their families into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. With the Blessed Virgin Mary as their intercessor and guide, Life Teen seeks to unleash the fullness of the Sacramental power present within the young Church.
Life Teen was launched in 1985 as a parish-based youth ministry in Mesa, AZ focused on the Mass and gathering teens together at a Life Night. They continue to be focused on bringing teens to Christ in the Eucharist and gathering them to be formed in the Roman Catholic faith.
Where Are They?
More than 1800 parishes are implementing the Edge or Life Teen models. Life Teen can be found in 32 countries, including Canada, South Africa, China, Malaysia, The Philippines, East Africa, Uganda, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, England, Scotland and the Netherlands.
What Do They Do?
Through powerful Eucharistic encounters and engaging catechesis, teens are immersed in a dynamically Catholic parish culture. With the parish as their true home, the teens are then further strengthened by Summer Camps, Events, Resources and Blogs. Their goal is not only to equip parishes worldwide with timely, high quality resources to train Catechists and “reach” today’s teens, but also to create an environment where Catholic teenagers feel supported and engaged the other 167 hours a week, outside of Sunday Mass.
Teens (13-19 years) are in a decisive stage of life: they are no longer children, but they are not yet grown up. In this phase they become more and more aware of themselves, they make decisive choices in study and/or work and they form an opinion about important matters in life. There is a lot to teenagers in a very short time; moreover, they are sometimes vulnerable and influenceable by the many media. Teenagers want to be taken seriously and belong somewhere. That is why it is important that teenagers, during this phase of life, can also belong to the Church and feel welcome!
There are a number of “ingredients” from Life Teen that make it easier for teens to get closer to Christ:
The Eucharist is central to Life Teen. To get closer to Christ, it is of course important that you actually bring the teens Christ! Christ is present in the Eucharist and it is offered within Life Teen in St. Missen and in worship.
Life Teen is particularly committed to Mary; we call her as our Mother and pray for her intercession for the teengagers.
The liturgy in the Holy Mass of Life Teen has been modified in a number of ways (within the rules of the Roman Catholic Church) to make it easier for teenagers to be in prayer and thus to come closer to Christ. There is a connection with Christian music that appeals to teenagers; this is done in a praying way and serves to support the liturgy.
It is important that there is also personal contact with the teenager, in addition to contact with the Life Teen activities. In this way a relationship of trust can be built up, so that teenagers also dare to come up with their personal questions. Here, too, it is important to keep the teenager in his worth and stand beside him and walk with him on his way with Christ. The teenager can always feel loved, not only during the meetings!
Life Teen wants to offer the teenager depth in the faith; teenagers want to hear the truth and know exactly what faith means.
Besides having fun, socializing and being involved is also important for teenagers. For example, the summer camps which are organised every year (fun & depth!).
More information can be found at https://lifeteen.com/