Young Life for high schoolers

Is anyone familiar with this group? My daughter has been involved with them for a couple of years in Bible study. College kids lead and stay in contact with kids. Nice kids, but they have asked my daughter to become a leader. Their beliefs are Christian, but not Catholic. I fear that this much involvement may sway her away from our faith. Any insight is appreciated.

Young Life is very active here. While it is a perfectly fine program for non-Catholic and unchurched young people, it is evangelical in nature and does not espouse Catholic doctrine. I, personally, would find a Catholic group for my daughter.

does your parish have a program called GodTeens/GodParents or some other such program? It is like CCD for teenagers (and can also be attended by those who attend Catholic high schools). I know in my diocese, it is lead by various team members,. and teens meet at the team members house for discussions (my brother and his wife were team members until ~4 years ago). That would be something to look into. It would also help her be with other teens of the Catholic faith.

They are most likely wonderful, faithful, sincere believers seeking to conform themselves to Christ.

They are also most likely sincerely concerned that the catholic church is a grave distortion of “real christianity” and that believers are much better off in an environments where they will “be fed by faithful preaching of the Word.” Consciously or not, they will attempt to influence your daughter. If she’s actively prepared and ALSO has good catholic support at home and among peers, she may be OK. If her experience of catholicism outside your own family is a parish Kumbaya youth group and a semi-comatose congregation at mass, she’s at serious risk of being influenced by them. Been there at age 19. Narrowly escaped thanks to the absurdity of Chick Tracts, ‘Whore of Babylon’ criticism and similar escapades that made me wonder about the validity of the concerns that were presented to me.

Get her a copy of Karl Keating’s “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” and explain that while her current crop of Young Life mentors may be fine and dandy, she’s likely to experience some attacks on catholicism that are likely founded on fundamentalist ideas.

There are Catholic groups to be in. If your own parish does not have a good youth group, then a neighboring parish may.

Your daughter will hear a lot of thinking that is not at all Catholic. Someone suggested the book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating. I second that.

I belonged to Young Life in the late 70’s. Yes, it’s evangelical in nature. When I belonged there was never anything anti-Catholic said or implied. Of course times change. If your daughter is really grounded in her faith it shouldn’t be a problem.

As a ‘heads up’ Catholic youth groups are often staffed by laity with limited familiarity with, or commitment to, the Magisterium.
With any youth group, it might be a good idea to meet the leaders, examine the content of the curiculum, and then, consider whether what is being offered will best support your child’s faith development.
Best wishes in finding a faithful Catholic association for your children.:slight_smile:

I used to attend Young Life. I understand people’s point of view with finding a Catholic youth group for your daughter – but to be honest, the program isn’t really specific enough (in my opinion), to make a Catholic want to be Protestant and vice versa – I remember saying some prayers (which would probably be fine in both religions), and singing songs on the guitar and planning events. They don’t really do anything particularly “protestanty”. I guess if your daughter wants to hang out with a group of kids and it isn’t interfering with her Cathollic services/etc., then you would probably rather have her singing christian songs than at some secular group, you know?

No way – absolutely nothing about Young Life was anti-catholic – at least not when I was a member in 2000. I didn’t even think about what denominations were represented. It really wouldn’t have occured to me that there woulnd’t have been Catholics at my young life meetings, to be honest.

I agree.

I used to be loosely affiliated with them when I was an Evangelical. I was a youth leader and the Youth Pastor was a staff member of Young Life. As a Catholic, I would be cautious of my child’s involvement in any Evangelical Protestant group. A lot of the theology that is taught is not Catholic, and could cause the kids confusion. My personal opinion: nay on the leadership.

Go to their website: My input would be to find another youth group for your daughter.

This is not the Catholic teaching

Article I

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

Sounds like a belief in “Faith Alone”

Article VI

The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in divine mercy, whereby we are forgiven all our sins, justified by faith through the merit of Christ our Savior, adopted into God’s family as His children and enabled so to live in the world that all people may see our good works and the Gospel of grace at work in our lives and glorify our Father who is in heaven.

“catholic” here not meant as “Catholic”

Article VII

God, by His Word and Spirit, calls us as sinful people into the fellowship of Christ’s body. Thus He creates the one holy, catholic and apostolic church, united in the bonds of love, endowed with the gifts of the Spirit and summoned by Christ to preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments, to carry on the ministry of reconciliation, to relieve human need and to strive for social justice.

Likely a different understanding to be apart from Christ than the Catholic church understanding

Article VIII

God’s redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, judge all people and establish His glorious kingdom. Those who are apart from Christ shall be eternally separated from God’s presence, but the redeemed shall live and reign with Him forever.

Full disclosure, my experience was with a group called the Navigators, not Yong Life. But it’s a small world in evangelical ministries and a lot of cross pollination goes on. And to be clear, the blatant stuff rarely came from the leadership, but from my peers in the group. I was lucky that they were clumsy and unsophisticated: Chick tracts and the like. Their sincerity was genuine, even if their methods and materials laughable.

I’m glad you didn’t encounter it blantantly. But don’t kid yourself, it’s still out there. They’ve just gotten more subtle and sophisticated. It’s NOT that they’re evil. They really believe that apostolic succession is a made up perversion of christianity and are worried about our souls because we trust that the Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium. Most have similar sentiments about the Real Presence in the Eucharist, confession, Holy Orders, etc. Ask 'em if you doubt me. Evangelicals are, well, evangelical! By definition, they are seeking to get people to believe what they do.

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