Since starting my adventure as Youth Editor with The Tablet newspaper only three years ago, I’ve learned through so many people just how much the diocesan paper has been a part of their lives.
Whether they were paperboys and delivered The Tablet to parishioners in the neighborhood for 10 cents per copy or they read the paper simply to keep up with the diocese after moving away, one thing was evident: the words on the page were important.
So when the first edition of The Tablet Jr. comes to life Jan. 25, the monthly four-page pullout made specifically for students will be a wonderful opportunity for diocesan youth to showcase their faith through words for other youth in the diocese to read.
What can our youth and religious educators expect to see on the pages? Two feature stories written by diocesan students as well as student-created artwork. It will also include fun activities like word puzzles and a monthly news article written by myself or a member of The Tablet staff.
Having a safe space for teens to express their faith is vital and sacred. I’ll never forget talking to the youth from Brooklyn and Queens at the annual student conference, Steubenville NYC. For many of them who attended the event for the first time, they finally felt like they found a place where they can express their Catholic faith without judgment. Through entertaining, informative and heartfelt content, The Tablet Jr. strives to be that type of resource for the diocese.
I’m confident that when teens read how others their age are also on a journey to understanding their faith and the church, it will spark a light.
When I visited St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy in Belle Harbor last month, I thought it was a fitting environment for where the first The Tablet Jr. writer would come from. Not only because the school’s namesake is the patron saint of writers and journalists, but the students eagerly spoke about topics like freedom of the press and religious freedom.
I pray that similar to The Tablet, The Tablet Jr. will also become an important part of the lives of our diocesan youth.