On June 2, 2020, pastors received a letter from Sister Theresa Khirallah, via the Office of the Auxiliary Bishop, announcing that gathered, large group events hosted by diocesan ministries offices are suspended for Fall 2020 due to the uncertainties surrounding the global pandemic, COVID-19.
It is important to note that our office, in collaboration with the various other diocesan ministries teams, holds the health and safety of our constituents as a top priority. We are saddened to temporarily forego large-group, in-person gatherings, but are brewing some exciting ideas to reconstruct our typical gatherings to accommodate these newly announced parameters! We are fully confident that we will be able to continue to serve our ministry leaders, young adults, high school students, and many others within our parish families, and will work tirelessly to provide meaningful experiences that unite us as a faith community and draw us deeper in relationship with Christ.
Operationally, then, what does this news mean for the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries?
- DCYC: The Dallas Catholic Youth Conference for high school teens hosts over 1,100 participants over a three day weekend in February. Due to its large attendance and the required financial commitment, the diocese has made the prudent decision to cancel DCYC 2021. We remain committed to helping ensure that high school students are well served by our Church during this time. For more information regarding this cancellation, please see a note from Jason Deuterman here.
- Formation Offerings: The Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries provides formation for our Ministry Leaders in 3 main formats: Summits (inclusive of Summit Retreats), Basecamps, and Ascend (for new Ministry Leaders). Virtual options are being developed for all three for the duration of 2020. Further information will be made public as soon as it is available.
- The 635: The 635 is a young adult community that is intended to gather formally once a month at the Granada Theater for worship, a message, and fellowship. Due to COVID-19, The 635 has been unable to gather for Spring 2020 and will continue to withhold gathering for Fall 2020. Further information concerning the future of The 635 will be made public as soon as it is available. In the meantime, the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries will be encouraging young adults to join small groups through their parishes. The OYYACM is in the process of mobilizing parishes to support small groups and is curating small group content to be made available for Fall 2020. Stay tuned!
- In-Person Meetings with OYYACM Staff: For the Fall of 2020, the norm for meeting with a member of the OYYACM will be through virtual communication. However, we will evaluate this on a regular basis and will consider in person meetings on a case by case basis. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time to set up a video conference or phone call. Our normal office hours remain the same and we look forward to any opportunity to connect and to serve you!
What do these regulations mean for you?
- You may be wondering, do I cancel my ministry’s large-group, in person gatherings? The decision whether or not to hold in person gatherings of any kind—youth ministry, faith formation, etc.—is one that needs to be made by each entity’s pastor or supervisor, in accordance with legal regulations and diocesan gatherings as directed in the Bishop’s decrees. However, we remain committed to helping you create transcendent encounters with Jesus Christ for those you serve, so feel free to reach out for advice or to brainstorm!
In the coming weeks, we hope to discuss these transitions in more detail with you and will be in touch regarding dates for an “all hands” Zoom call and conversation. Please know of our prayers and affection for each of you, as we know full well that many of you are also considering and navigating these same decisions and the weight they hold. Take note, dear friends, of the encouragement found throughout Scripture—when disruption is present, God always raises up and anoints leaders, even when they feel unequipped, to proclaim His goodness and to serve His people. And the most important part? He never lets them fail. Be those leaders. We’re going to take a shot at it with you.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,
The OYYACM Team