We are here for you!

All students in 6th-12th grades are welcome. Invite your friends to join us!

 

Josh Smith |Youth Minister

Phone: 205-803-5422

Email: youthministry@sfxbirmingham.com
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Want to be added to our weekly youth ministry email list to find out the latest news, see the next events, or view what we've been up to? Let us know! We promise not to spam you or share your contact information with others. This is not the same as the parish news email or the school newsletter.

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Trying to Find Your Youth group? Click Below!

Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you, and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One.  Taken from Christus Vivit, pope francis's apostolic  exhortation to young people

Ready to be fully Alive? sign up here! Please don't forget the signature form,  or it will not be official. Thanks!

Sing of Mary

This month, as we look forward to the celebration of the birth of Christ, we can turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sometimes, we forget to see Mary as a gift to us from Jesus. God already gives us so many blessings that we can often not appreciate them as much as we should; this includes the Blessed Mother. There are so many lessons from her life that we can apply to our own. We are so fortunate to have Mary to serve as a great example for what a missionary disciple should be. Let’s examine how we can live our lives like Mary did and how we can be a better disciple of Jesus through her illustration.

Mary is such a wonderful example of the power of saying yes. Without her fiat (for I always trust) to the will of God in her life, the course of the world would be drastically different. Without Mary, there is no Jesus (and vice versa). It can be scary to say yes to what God may call us to without knowing every step of the way, but we can trust Him even more so, because of what He did with Mary. She also knew the value of keeping things in. When she found out that she would give birth to the Savior of the world, she didn’t go around bragging her news to everyone. Instead, she prepared herself for what was coming (including the judgements of others who thought she was an unwed mother) and told those she was closest to, because she knew they would rejoice more in the Lord than in her. It is really easy to focus on the good that we are doing, instead of seeing things from the Lord’s point of view. We can live our lives with thanksgiving for what God is doing in our lives. No matter what happened to Mary, she was always appreciative. She didn’t have the nicest things, as she was poor. She even had to ride a donkey when she was nine months pregnant. Her great luxury was her Son, and for that reason, she was the richest woman in the world. By always choosing the Lord, she became queen. She could have anything the world wanted to offer her, but she didn’t want anything except Jesus. She knew that He was the treasure, the pearl of great price, and to know Him, she would gladly give her life completely to God- and not just in one moment but in every aspect of her life.

 

Consider the idea of the Salvation Army kettle ringers we see outside stores around this time of year. These people ring a bell, but it is never for them to collect any money for themselves; instead, it is to raise money for the Salvation Army, so that good could be done for many. Mary could be seen as the bell ringer- proclaiming salvation is possible and that good can be done, if we cooperate, if we put in our own two cents. Mary’s own life was never about her- it was always about Jesus. This is how we are called to live as Catholic Christians- rejecting the lie that we don’t need God and can figure out life without Him. Even her most famous words, the Magnificat found in Luke 1:46-55, show that she didn’t think of her own desires first.

 

     My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

     my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

     for He has looked down with favor on his lowly servant.

     From this day, all generations will call me blessed:

     the Almighty has done great things for me,

     and holy is His name.

     He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.

     He has shown the strength of His arm,

     He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

     He has cast down the mighty from their thrones

     and has lifted up the lowly.

     He has filled the hungry with good things,

     and the rich He has sent away empty.

     He has come to the help of His servant Israel

     for He promise of mercy,

     the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and His children forever.

 

She delighted in being the Mother of God. She loved Jesus and lived her life for Him. She even spends her eternal life, doing the will of God- helping sinners to become holy. We can run to her for any reason- whether it is problems with family and friends, work or school, and anything else. She is ready to go to Jesus on our behalf; no matter what. She’s there ready to take action, just like the good mom that she is. She scoops us up when we are hurt, holding us close to her heart. She shares how we can please our Father. She is the mother of all.

 

If you have not yet already, consider making Mary a part of your family! This could be something as easy as putting a picture of her on the wall (just as we do with our earthly family members) or praying the rosary together with your family. One of our youth ministry families has adopted praying the rosary together on Sunday nights. You could also possibly consecrate your family to Jesus through Mary. What this means is that we seriously commit ourselves to lead a holier life to receive even more graces from God. As our loving mother, we know that Mary holds our hand in many parts of our life, for she is the one who leads us to Jesus. You can find a consecration program here on FORMED.  (Click here to find instructions on how to get a FORMED subscription through our parish.) "Consecration to the Mother of God,” says Pope Pius XII, “is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life – Marian life.” This consecration, the Pope explained, “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen proposed this question to us for consideration about how we can turn to the Blessed Mother. “Can you not see that if Christ himself willed to be physically formed in her for nine months and then be spiritually formed by her for 30 years, it is to her that we must go to learn how to have Christ formed in us?” Mary was the very first tabernacle that held Jesus Christ. We, too, become tabernacles of the Lord when we receive Him in Holy Communion. Just as Mary was purposeful in the way she lived her life, we can also live in this way. It is with this attitude that we can confidently turn to her to see how we can be better lovers of Jesus. We find her giving birth to Him in a barn, weeping beneath the Cross, and always living her life as prayer. You can never love Mary more than Jesus did. Let us love Mary and run to her, so she can lead us to Jesus.

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GREAT APPS FOR THE YOUNG CATHOLIC (AND THE NOT-SO-YOUNG CATHOLIC)

Simply, go to the app store to download.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church abides by the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama Youth Protection Program. Through annual training, our students are reminded that they are made in God's image and carry dignity. To review the materials associated with our Safe Envioronment/Sexual Abuse Prevention, please click here. For more information about becoming a chaperone and earning Youth Protection certification, click here.

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