About 65 Catholic teens interested in taking on a leadership role in their youth ministry took part in YCAST. They were guided by 35 people with experience in coordinating and facilitating youth ministry training. The Diocesan Office of Young Catholics coordinates and offers the YCAST Training.
Values and themes emphasized during the training are: Servant Leadership, the Importance of Formation, Visionary Leadership, being Christ-centered and Casting a Wide Net in ministry.
This week-long process focused on youth obtaining a better understanding of their leadership strengths. For many, the task was building confidence in their own ability to lead and help form their peers.
“They often realize that they are their own challenge as they struggle with self-doubt and unworthiness,” observes Berenice Villa, Youth Programs Coordinator in the Diocesan Office of Young Catholics. “As the week continues they are prepared to face parish challenges and advocate for themselves and peers to be present in the life of the church.”
The week included prayer, liturgies, workshops, and hands on planning that the participants can use to actively serve their local communities. In one example, the teens received instruction in the planning of a parish youth ministry event and were then challenged to plan and stage a parish event the following day.