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Youth Ministry  began in the parishes of what is now the Diocese of Lake Charles in the early 1970s when it was still a part of the Diocese of Lafayette.  In 1980, when the Diocese of Lake Charles was born, Mrs. Sandy Gay was named the Director for the Office of Youth Ministry for the diocese.  From its birth the Diocese of Lake Charles has understood the value of youth in the church and the office has worked tirelessly to provide for the needs of the young church and those who ministered to them in the parishes.

Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Lake Charles is a department within the Office of Christian Formation, and is guided by the Spirit, the Mission of the Diocese of Lake Charles, and Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry along with other documents of the Catholic Church.  

The office works in collaborative partnerships with DOLC Office of Religious Education, it’s parishes, and school leaders to promote and foster ministry with adolescents.  The diocesan youth office works to represent and support the 39 parishes, its mission chapels and 7 schools seeking to build strong parishes by providing indirect and direct ministry in the areas of leadership development, faith formation and community service.

The diocese is also a member of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). The staff participates in the annual meetings of the NFCYM, and contributes to committee work, which continues throughout the year.

Youth ministry in the Diocese of Lake Charles embraces the comprehensive scope put forth by the Catholic Bishops of the United States in Renewing the Vision, A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry 1997. It provides an approach that integrates the eight components into a framework of support, while encouraging creativity in developing programs, activities, and strategies.  The eight components of youth ministry are Advocacy, Catechesis, Community Life, Evangelization, Justice & Service, Leadership Development, Pastoral Care, and Prayer and Worship. 

The Youth Ministry Office provides resources and programs for adult and youth leadership development that reflect the three essential goals of Renewing the Vision from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops: 

  • To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today. 

  • To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic faith community. 

  • To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person. 


Current Mission Statement for DOLC Office of Youth Ministry: 

Forming the young church of the Diocese of Lake Charles by supporting and  empowering youth leaders and their teens to be Christ in the world.

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