Fr. Larry Léger and youth minister Eric Luscombe are excited to bring new life to Holy Family Parish’s youth programs. Photo by Jacklyn Gilmor

Busy, but blessed: life of a youth minister

By  Jacklyn Gilmor, Youth Speak News
  • September 15, 2017

Eric Luscombe’s first day was a little chaotic.

From coordinating schedules to getting involved in the schools and a string of meetings, the brand new youth minister at Holy Family Parish in Bolton, Ont., has a lot on his hands.

Luscombe, 21, started on Sept. 5 and jumped right into a series of projects to begin planning for the upcoming year. Now, he’s working six days a week.

“It was definitely interesting just going through all the resources and being overwhelmed by how many there were,” Luscombe said. “I’ve had to learn fairly quickly on the fly.”

He always starts with prayer. In the morning, he usually attends daily Mass to focus his spirit. Afterwards, he concentrates his attention on his emails, schedules and meetings with parish groups and religious contacts.

On a recent Wednesday, he had to meet with the parish’s regular Mom and Tots group.

After that, he went to St. Michael’s Catholic Secondary School to be introduced to the Grade 11 and 12 students. Luscombe met with the principal, the vice-principal and the chaplain, who work with him to plan faith-related events such as school Masses.

In between meetings, he has been planning retreats and creating contacts with NET Canada, the National Evangelization Team that travels between churches to bring Christ to the youth.

And then there’s his office work. He goes back to sending emails and planning out schedules for the upcoming year of LifeTeen and EDGE youth programs.

Despite the busy and sometimes hectic environment he works in, Luscombe said he is excited and knows he’s meant to be there.

“There will probably be some days where I have to sit in the office all day, but for the most part I want to be out there with the teens, showing them Christ’s love, teaching them in whatever way I can,” he said.

Fr. Larry Léger, pastor of Holy Family, said he is excited for Luscombe, who has a degree in Catholic Studies from King’s College at Western University and years of experience being involved in youth ministry in Orangeville.

“It will be another example for young men in our parish to strive for holiness,” he said.

Once he has his feet under him, Luscombe wants to make some changes in the parish’s youth ministry.

First, he wants to help youth to go deeper in their faith with discipleship groups. The groups would ideally run one night a week and be a chance for teens to split up by gender and discuss heavier issues, as well as develop stronger relationships with each other and with Christ.

Acts of service are another key project Luscombe wants to focus on.

“I’ve found with EDGE and LifeTeen (youth programs) that there is a lot of focus on encountering God,” said Luscombe. “But then a lot of the time we just tell them to bring it out to the world, and we don’t give them the opportunities to do that.”

Attending the March for Life in Ottawa, visiting with seniors, and going on mission trips are some other service opportunities Luscombe plans to do more often with youth.

His favourite part of the job is simply interacting with the youth. Whether it’s going to their soccer games or encouraging them before a test, it is important for him to be very involved in their lives.

“Their successes are your successes. Their failures are your failures,” he said. “This one may have slipped and walked away, but the ones that do stay, and the connections and the growth you see are just so moving.”

(Gilmor, 19, is a second-year Journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto.)

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