Why CYO Sports?
Total Youth Ministry is a concept that presents a promise and a challenge to all who collaborate in serving God's people. Youth ministry is a multi-dimensional approach reaching out to the lived experience of young people offered by the Office of Youth Ministry. It is interested in the total person, not simply the social, athletic or religious education dimensions. Through youth ministry we work to construct an environment that encourages the development of relationships between youths and believing adults who can articulate and share their faith in a wide variety of situations. By attentive listening and concern, the "mentor" aids the youth in reflecting on the
actions of God in his/her own life thus enabling that young person to begin formulating answers in the light of witnessed tradition and gospel values. The options in ministry to, for, by and with youth are expansive and varied. The "ministry moment" might occur in the privacy of a counseling session, it could occur in the excitement of a basketball game, or it might take place through a quiet reflective moment during a retreat. Each approach is valid and each is important. Total youth ministry is a diverse but integrated, holistic, pastoral ministry for youth which depends on the harmonious collaboration among many individuals.
Athletics are a vital and important part of total youth ministry. Young people are interested in athletics and readily come forth to participate in athletic programs. Athletics inherently have many of the components of youth ministry as enumerated in the Archdioceses' Vision of Youth Ministry. Similar to almost any aspect of the total youth ministry program, sports can be an effective influence in the formation of a Christian value system and lifestyle for an adolescent through a positive experience with the "youth minister." In this case the minister
is the coach.