What is SPY?
SPY stands for St. Pat’s Youth - youth connect to peers, prayer, service, discipleship, God, community, etc. SPY is the ministry offered for adolescents in grades 6 through 12. Youth ministry is the response of the parish community to the needs of young people and the sharing of their unique gifts. St. Patrick’s is dedicated to forming youth disciples by fostering their personal and spiritual growth and calling them to active participation in our faith community and beyond.
What does SPY do?
St. Pat’s Youth Ministry offers various opportunities for youth to grow in faith. Sometimes the middle school youth gather with the high school youth, but most often they meet separately.
For those in 6th-8th grade, there is a regular middle school youth group gathering called SPY Nights which meets on the 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings at the parish from September through May. Youth group nights consist of food, games, prayer, and a faith topic. No registration required.
For those in 9th-12th grade, SPY Nights are the high school youth group gatherings which meet on the 2nd Sunday evening at the parish from September through April. Youth group nights consist of food, games, prayer, and a faith discussion. No registration required.
Kairos is another high school program consisting of small, grade specific, faith sharing groups which meet in parishioners homes on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from September to April. Kairos groups learn about what it means to be Catholic using the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth along with faith sharing, praying, and eating. Registration required.
Teen Choir is for youth in grades 6-12. The choir leads music for the 5:00 pm Mass on the 4th Saturday of each month. Practice is directly before mass at 4:00 pm in the Family Room of Boland Hall.
Is SPY just about doing fun stuff or faith stuff?
SPY provides opportunities for all adolescents to blend community building with faith elements and discipleship formation. Some events are geared for social interaction (laser tag, youth group), some for service to the community (Souper Bowl of Caring, VSP Club, St. Pat’s fish frys), and some for spiritual formation (retreats, faith sharing, prayer experiences).
My teen needs service hours, what do you offer?
SPY offers periodic service opportunities, mostly on the weekends, within the St. Pat’s community and within the Omaha area. An official sign up is made available a few weeks before the project date. Teens/families can also contact agencies directly to secure a service project and complete required hours. Contact Jenni to get a list of service agencies which may need service from teens.
Do you do Mission Trips?
A high school mission trip is planned each summer with Young Neighbors in Action. Teens organize and assist with fundraising and join in preparation sessions to go on the mission trip. For those in 7th and 8th grade, we participate in Youth Serve, a local summer service camp run through the Archdiocese.
Who can attend SPY events?
Any 6th – 12th graders can attend SPY events by virtue of being initiated into our Catholic faith and committing to St. Patrick’s parish through family registration. Friends of all denominations are always welcome, too!
How do I get signed up and how much will it cost?
When required, registration/consent forms can be found on the parish website, in the Church lobby, and on the SPY bulletin board in Boland Hall hallway. More specific sign up times are as follows…
For the SPY Mild middle school youth group nights, just show up there’s no sign up! No fees but families are asked to help provide snacks/drinks.
For the SPY Hot high school youth group, there’s no sign up, just show up! No fees but families are asked to help provide snacks/drinks.
For Kairos, registrations are sought in late August with a $20 first year registration fee and $10 per year after that.
For Teen Choir, just show up for practice and be ready to sing!
For special social events, retreats, Archdiocesan gatherings (anything that takes us off the parish campus), consent forms are required one week before the event. Fees vary according to event and location.
For service opportunities, consent forms are required one week before the event. No fee required.
For the middle school service camp, Youth Serve, registration is in the spring and the fee is approx. $150.
For the high school YNIA Mission Trip, initial registration is in the winter and the fee is approx. $350. Participation in fundraisers is expected also.
Where can I find the latest on SPY happenings?
There are at least 7 different ways information about SPY is passed along…
1. Weekly updates appear in the parish bulletin.
2. Periodic reminder emails are sent to parents using the family email address listed in the parish database.
3. Monthly parent newsletters are emailed to parents.
4. Teens can access the SPY St. Patrick Facebook page to hear about upcoming events and to view pictures.
5. The parish website (www.stpatselkhorn.org) contains info, pictures, and permission forms.
6. The 5 day school teachers list SPY events with their websites and communications.
7. The RF family notes have pertinent SPY information.
Parenting Website Resources
Parenting.org—A service of Girls and Boystown www.parenting.org
(help with the day-to-day care taking, guidance and development of your adolescent)
The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU) www.cpyu.org
(building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers)
Search Institute www.search-institute.org
(provides leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities)