National News

New Bilingual Video Series to Support Youth Leaders Who ‘Accompany’ Teens

By Priscilla Greear

SMYRNA, Ga. (CNS) – The Office of Faith Formation and Discipleship of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ga., has launched the first video training series based on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) framework for youth ministry.

A nationwide collaboration, the series is meant to bolster volunteers in youth ministry.

The archdiocese worked on the series with the Emmy-winning Spirit Juice Studios of Chicago and national youth ministry experts from New York to Montana, with funding support from the North Georgia Catholic Foundation and Our Sunday Visitor.

Together, collaborators blended insights, personal testimonies and dialogues to craft 10 videos in English and Spanish on fundamental topics including evangelization, pastoral care, marginalized youth and diversity. Project leaders hope that the youth ministry films and accompanying study guides will serve as a practical parish training resource nationwide.

“Called to Accompany,” or “Llamados a Acompanar” in Spanish, was launched Oct. 25 on the new Atlanta archdiocesan website The site also features upcoming youth events plus The Mark magazine for teens. Launched in fall 2016, the first issue of the magazine garnered more than 19,000 page views with 8,000 print copies made available to confirmation students.

The new training series covers four of the eight USCCB “Renewing the Vision” pillars of youth ministry and will be promoted by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. It complements any existing youth ministry program and the Spanish videos feature Hispanic leaders discussing culturally specific issues.

“I’m extremely excited because it’s one of the most needed tools in all parishes in our archdiocese and around the nation. The reason is there is no training for volunteers in English and Spanish based on the pillars of youth ministry, not based on a program,” said project architect Katherine Angulo, associate director of youth ministry for the Atlanta Archdiocese.

“Most in youth ministry are either part-time or volunteers and need to get trained to do the important job of passing the faith to the next generation,” she told The Georgia Bulletin, the archdiocesan newspaper.