Diocesan Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry (Knoxville)
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The first goal of Catholic youth ministry is “to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.” (RTV, p. 9)
One of the ways the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry endeavors to achieve this goal is by offering service experiences with the poorest of the poor in our region.
Each year during the Easter season high school age youth and trained adults participate in The Appalachian Project in cooperation with a local social service agency The Shack.
The youth, guided by adults take part in projects such as building handicap ramps or steps, installing floors, doors, sheet-rock, or painting. They meet the people that live in the homes they are repairing.
Participants’ accommodations and meals are minimal making it possible for nearly 90% of donations to go directly for building supplies.
At the close of each day, time is spent reflecting on how God spoke to them that day, leading them to develop a relationship with Jesus and becoming more aware of how the Holy Spirit is at work in their everyday life.
“Dear young people, please, don’t be observers of life, but get involved. Jesus did not remain an observer, but he immersed himself. Don’t be observers, but immerse yourself in the reality of life, as Jesus did.”
POPE FRANCIS’ ADDRESS TO THE ITALIAN ASSOCIATION OF LARGE FAMILIES, DECEMBER 28, 2014
Any amount donated makes a significant impact on the quality of life for those living in impoverished Appalachia and offers greater opportunity for our youth to experience discipleship in action.