Youth Ministry

Support James Armstrong’s Year of Missionary Service!

John Lilly No Comments

File_000 (1)James Armstrong has chosen to surrender a year of his life to the Lord in the service of young people. Having recently graduated from the University of South Carolina, he discerned a call from God to dedicate a whole year to helping young people encounter the merciful love of Christ.

James will be assisting Rob Tessier, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at All Saints, at the largest parish in the state of Virginia. Most fundamentally, he will be building relationships with teens and helping them come to know Christ. This process will include training in the art of reaching out and actively bringing the love of Christ to young people, assisting in the planning and execution of middle school youth group events and conducting weekend retreats for high school and junior high students. He has already participated in a week-long summer work camp and served as a co-moderator of the boys Catholic Life Community.

Youth Apostles sponsors the Year of Missionary Service to Youth. He will live in their center in McLean with 15 other men where he will build a strong prayer life, celebrate the sacraments regularly, cook and share meals, and receive a strong formation in the Christian life.

Please consider donating to help cover the costs of this Year of Missionary Service. Any amount you can give, large or small, makes a difference! Thank you for your generosity.

Click here to support James

“Into the Woods” receives rave review from DC Metro Theater Arts

John Lilly No Comments


“Once Upon a time, in the city of Manassas, there was a theatre group that was in their 15th year of producing Broadway quality musicals. Every summer a group of talented performers gather to rehearse a visually stunning and musically wonderful show. And this year was no exception. Fresh off their hit from last year’s performance of Peter Pan, Upper Room Theatre Ministry has stepped Into The Woods and brought out a new side of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical.”

Read the full article

All Boys CLC Retreat 2015

Peter Clem No Comments

clc 2015 2clc 2015 1

The weekend before Thanksgiving, 30 young men in high school went away for 3 days to grow in their faith through prayer and community. Our CLCs (Catholic Life Communities) are single sex small groups that are organized at various parishes and every year they all come together for aIMG_3677 retreat. Throughout the weekend, there are many opportunities to encounter Jesus through talks, activities, sharing, and of course the sacraments. There is also time to relax and grow in fellowship through sports and over some good food.

This weekend can be life changing for these guys, as they are asked to confront their fears and the things that hold them back from diving more in love with Christ. Through encouragement in the small group setting, everyone is given a chance to seek advice and share what is on his heart.

The time away from the world allows one to really give God the time He needs to work in our hearts. One teen shared that this weekend had some of the deepest sharing he had ever done. Another was enthusiastic when everyone was sharing how they prayed and considered taking those ideas and bringing them to his own prayer life. All of them agreed however that the highlight was adoration.
During adoration, we had a unique opportunity through a Eucharistic procession around the room, where everyone was brought face-to-face with Jesus in a close and personal way. The precious seconds were moments of peace and quiet, something not so easily found in our daily routines.IMG_4629IMG_4624







As a moderator, I always look forward to this weekend. It is so encouraging to see these young men desirous to grow in love for God and for one another. There are many ways to serve God and His people, but helping these boys become men of God is very special to me and I am especially grateful for the time away on the All Boys CLC Retreat.St marys clc shirts

Recapping Pope Francis’ Trip to Cuba and the United States

Peter Clem No Comments
Pope Francis kissing Kolbe Francis Power during the Papal Parade.

Pope Francis kissing Kolbe Francis Power during the Papal Parade.

Last week, Pope Francis visited Cuba and the United States for the first time. The trip was packed with many public appearances, private meetings with heads of state, and opportunities for the pope to interact with those who are in most need of God’s mercy. Pope Francis spoke to Cuba and America on many subjects, primarily focusing on the family for a majority of his pilgrimage, ending with the World Meeting for Families.

Many Youth Apostles partook in opportunities to see the Holy Father. Eduardo Azcarate, along with his wife and daughter, and Fr. Ramon Dominguez joined a group who went to Cuba to greet Pope Francis. Some brothers traveled early in the morning to line the streets for the Papal parade on the National Mall. During the parade, Pope Francis kissed Kolbe Francis Power, son of Full Member Mike and Directress of Women Youth Apostles Kelly Power. Check out the video below! A few brothers received tickets to attend the Canonization Mass for Saint Junipero Serra, including 4 of our priests who concelebrated the Mass. Youth Apostles was given 30 tickets from a couple generous donors to attend Pope Francis’ address to Congress on the West Lawn.

The culmination of Pope Francis’ pilgrimage was this past weekend in Philadelphia. Saturday night was the Festival of Families with 6 families invited to tell the Holy Father their story and throughout the night, many world class celebrities performed and spoke to a crowd of thousands. Sunday was the closing Mass in which over a million attended. Many of our brothers attended these two events along with teens from our ministries. Virginia Tech was able to bring 150 students and the Diocese of Arlington managed to bring a group of 700 to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

Personally, I had an amazing experience. It was my first time see a pope in person and although I didn’t receive a personal encounter, I was deeply moved by the number of people gathered, the joy of all around me, the hearts of the young people I went with, and how the Lord spoke to me personally about the peace He has to offer. One particularly touching story was how we waited for over 4 hours to attend the Mass, forgoing lunch and knowing that we would not have dinner for many hours. We packed many snacks anticipating this and some of our teens decided to give their snacks to the homeless they encountered. This was truly answering Pope Francis’ call to go to the peripheries and touch the suffering flesh of Christ. I was being taught this by the youth I am called to serve.

Below are links to some of the stories that came from this incredible time for our nation.

Link to story about Kolbe Francis receiving a kiss and blessing from Pope Francis:

Link to Kevin Bohli, Director of the Office of Youth Ministry, blogging about Arlington’s Papal Pilgrimage to Philadelphia:

Link to all of the speeches and homilies Pope Francis gave during his Papal visit:

Day for the Children of Youth Apostles Brothers

Peter Clem No Comments


This past Saturday, we had a day here at the house for the children of Youth Apostles. The day began with Mass and then after breakfast we broke up into groups to come up with a skit on a parable. It was truly fun to engage in the Scriptures in a visual and interactive way. A variety of props were used to give some added comedic effect.


DSCN8412After the skits, we went into the chapel for Adoration and an opportunity to encounter the Scriptures in prayer. Through a guided Ignatian meditation, we reflected on the story of Jesus walking on the water, how he calls us out of the boat personally and we need to focus on Him and not the storms around us. We then broke for a pizza lunch and some free time for sports. It was a truly wonderful day with 17 kids from 9 different families. Some of the Consecrated brothers and some of the fathers helped plan the day and were present for all the activities. Our hope is to continue to build up this community of the children of our brothers.DSCN8387DSCN8388

March for Life 2015

Peter Clem No Comments

march 2

Yesterday, thousands gathered together for the annual March for Life, consisting primarily of young people. It was with great joy that we began the day at the Life is VERY Good Rally at the Patriot Center in Fairfax with about 7,000 other Catholics to celebrate Mass. We took about 35 youth from All Saints in Manasas, VA. It was truly inspiring to see these young people excited to marchbe fired up about being ProLife. They had much enthusiasm to be there despite being a long day of walking and traveling. After Mass and a delicious Chick-fil-a lunch, we drove down into DC for the March. Despite packing the streets with many strangers, there was definitely a feeling of unity and love, standing for the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. There was many groups present ranging from babies to elderly, West coast to East, Catholics to those of other faiths.  I particularly enjoyed the conversations with the various teens about the struggles of being ProLife in a world that persecutes us for our beliefs, watching them see that they are not alone in this world but are in fact surrounded by many others. One teen asked me how someone could actually justify something as horrible as abortion. The way that she asked with such innocence and the look of horror on her face truly touched my heart. Even one so young could see the injustice and not understand how we have come to this place in our nation. She gave me hope that this generation will be the answer to the culture of death.


Below is Fr. Jack expressing why Youth Apostles has been so invested in promoting the dignity of every human person since its foundation. Be sure to check it out and follow us on Youtube.

WoYA’s Fatima Estorninos interviewed by Franciscan Media

John Lilly No Comments

This week, WoYA full member and Assistant Director Fatima Estorninos, was interviewed by Franciscan Media Productions. She talked about her ministry at St. Agnes and the work of the Women Youth Apostles thus far.

She talked about how the community is supported by the Youth Apostles community, and how her and her sisters live out their commitments in their daily lives. Relational ministry is essential to both YA’s and WoYA’s, and Fatima sees her involvement with community vital to doing ministry.

You can listen to the full talk here .

[Copyright by Franciscan Media Productions]

Visit the WoYA’s website to learn more about them!

Come work with the youth!

John Lilly No Comments

Love young people?1390464_10152043151219769_1806024361_n

Want to learn more about youth ministry?

Then consider a Year of Volunteer Service with Youth Apostles!

It is a year dedicated to service within the Youth Apostles Community. Gain experience working with young people (middle school to college-aged), participate in the life of the Youth Apostles Community, and dive into the spirituality and charism of the community.

Questions? Please contact us here or at (703-556-0914)


Check out our flier for more info!


Virginia Catholic Campus Ministry Summit 2014

John Lilly No Comments
The Virginia Catholic Campus Ministry Summit, hosted by the Diocese of Richmond, is 24 hours of worship, teaching, and fellowship for Catholic college students from all over the state, hosted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. It is coming up in less than two weeks on January 31 – February 1, 2014.

Chris Stefanick will be the keynote speaker this year and Jackie Francois will be the doing the music, as well as speaking at the women’s session. The weekend will include workshops on tons of relevant Catholic topics, Mass, Adoration, Confession, and plenty of time for getting to know other awesome Catholic students.

The cost for the event is only $10 per student, which covers the program, lodging, meals, and bus transportation from schools within the Richmond Diocese (though the conference is open to students from any school within the state).

All youth ministers and CLC leaders can help out by passing along this info to their kids who have moved on to college, campus ministers and chaplains can help by spreading the word to their students at their various schools, and college men can help by joining us and bringing a couple friends!

Check out the Facebook event for more info!

In digest form, here is all the key information:

Virginia Catholic Campus Ministry Summit 2014

Date:           January 31 – February 1, 2014

Location:     St. Thomas Aquinas Church / The John Paul Jones Arena

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA


Any questions contact John Hopke.

St. Leo’s CLC Update

John Lilly No Comments

8th Graders at the Boys Confirmation Retreat celebrate the wonders of Fall

In the great city of Fairfax, CLC at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church has seen a promising start to the beginning of the year. For the first time within the past month, St. Leo’s has coordinated two weekend Confirmation retreats for both boys and girls. The girls retreat saw 18 eighth graders attend, and the boys saw similar numbers with 17. The retreats were a resounding success, with lots of positive feedback from parents and teens. A week after the boys retreat, the Boys and Girls CLC’s held a joint Pizza Info Night. There was a solid turnout from both retreats. Pizza and beverages were provided, and over half a dozen teens and their parents attended. The boys moderators, Mike Paquette, Erik Teter, and Jon Perez and the girls moderators, Laura Schafer Bennett and Katie van Lieshout, were there to field questions that parents and teens had. Furthermore, many other parents emailed, saying they could not attend the info meeting, but that their son or daughter was interested in CLC.


Since the CLC meeting itself, the Boys CLC have had eight guys coming consistently in addition to their six committed members. They are on track to have a joint commitment liturgy with St Mary’s CLC in two weeks on November 13th.  The moderators are excited for their guys to take further steps in their commitments, and for the new 8th graders to start coming to meetings.


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