The St. Michael Catholic High School Model United Nations (UN) Team competed at the 14th annual University of Alabama Model UN Conference, where the team won the most awards and the conference’s top honor.
ORANGE BEACH — Teenagers from throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile joined together at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach on Feb. 18-20 for this year's Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Conference, popularly known as ACYC.
A burgeoning youth ministry program at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Enterprise recently received a big boost from the “Generations of Faith – Endowing our Future with Hope” campaign and the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile.
"Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” — Pope Francis, Day for Life Greeting
My first youth retreat was actually when I was a part-time youth minister at my parish. I was invited to attend as an adult chaperone for the high school retreat prior to the start of school. The retreat was scheduled to start on Friday night but I had a conflict so I volunteered to drive our parish priest up on Saturday morning and drive him back Saturday evening. When I arrived, all of the participants and adults had already been together on Friday night and I really did not know most of them. It was challenging to find my place so I was relieved that I was leaving early because it felt awkward to me. I had not committed myself to fully participate in the retreat and so it did not have much of an impact on me.
When I was young, I always thought of myself as a leader. I would make decisions, organize activities, assign people to do tasks and give advice. I did not have leadership training but it seemed to come naturally to me. Even though I was an introvert, I was able to go outside of my comfort zone when I was focused on a specific task or activity. When an adult would ask me to lead something, it felt good to be given responsibility and intensified my focus.
As an athlete, I was constantly figuring out the best role for myself to help my team achieve success. The best coaches that I played for would guide me through this process along with my teammates because the team results were the most important objective.
Thirteen years ago this month I started on a journey when I accepted my first full-time position at St. Joseph in Macon, Ga. Up until that time I had lived my entire life in Texas, and all but three years in Dallas. I felt that God was calling me to ministry but I was very unsure about leaving my home, my family and my friends.
My name is Tex Phelps and I am the new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. In my position one of my favorite parts of the job is visiting different parish communities and the beautiful churches across the diocese. In my previous positions in Beaumont, Savannah, Maryland and Washington DC, I have been very blessed to visit many parishes and be a part of parish celebrations of the Liturgy and other special occasions. It is always an honor and a privilege to worship alongside different communities with the same faith. It brings us together as ONE.
There are many moments in movies, books or television shows where the hero discovers who they are and who they are destined to become. Oftentimes it takes challenges or obstacles for that revelation to occur. It could be that a family member reveals an insight, or the life lessons learned along the way illustrate one’s strengths and gifts.
On a whim, my wife bought me the Nintendo Switch game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for my birthday last month. We have this game in other formats, but combined with our twins’ Christmas gift of their own controllers, we have been playing this game a lot more lately.
While ministering to young people and their families, there has been an unexpected but enjoyable aspect that I have been reflecting on lately: generational research and insight. I am not sure if I would have been interested in something so sociological if I was not active in ministering to a certain generation, while knowing my own generation, and appreciating the parents’ and other adults’ generation.