The purpose of Youth Ministry is to lead youth in grades 7 – 12 to a closer relationship with Christ and our parish community. This is done through ongoing faith formation and social justice activities. Special emphasis is placed on helping our own parish community as well as the community at large. Our mission is to provide opportunities for spiritual growth through participation in social & service related activities. We are pleased to welcome back Mark Polny as our Youth Minister as we begin our 2012-2013 season. These are programs currently being offered for the youth of our parish. Some are ongoing activities and some take place on particular dates or times of year.Ongoing Activities• Dismas House in Worcester: 2nd Friday of each month. Youth assist in serving a meal to, and visiting with, prisoners who are being rehabilitated. Contact: Maura & Kevin Shea at Maura@bennettgrouponline.com• Juniors Helping Seniors: A program where the youth of our Parish assist seniors with household tasks. As needs arise, juniors are matched with seniors to complete activities. Contact: Danny & Mary O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org• Service Days with the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton: Youth participate in volunteer days at the respite Center. Additionally, youth may volunteer to help host dinner/games with one of the respite center group homes. Contact person: Karen Fournier at email@example.com • Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Cantor, Altar Server: Youth may train for any of these ministries. Contact: Father Flynn JFlynn@stmatthewsb.orgSpecial Events• Thanksgiving Food Drive & Basket Preparation: Youth collect food donations and prepare baskets for parishioners in need.• Christmas in the City: Youth participate in both the set-up of a citywide Christmas party for the homeless in Boston and the actual party itself. Usually takes place one to two weeks before Christmas. Set up day on Saturday, party on Sunday.• Christmas Gift Baskets: Youth will put together and distribute Christmas baskets for our elderly shut-ins. • Souper Bowl Sunday-Food Collection: Youth will collect cans of soup and/or monetary donations to benefit the Southborough Food Pantry. Contact Jimmy or Jane Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org• Mississippi Mission Trip 2013: This is a week long mission trip in conjunction with St. Ann’s Church in Lizana, MS to assist the poor and disenfranchised in rural Mississippi, many of whom are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Contact Karen Fournier at email@example.com• Gospel Road: A local week of service based out of the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton. Details TBA. If you have any ideas you would like to implement or if you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the person directly in charge of the activity and/ or email Karen Fournier firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add you to the YM distribution list.