Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
Offices Parish Life Youth Ministry For New Youth Ministers

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For New Youth Ministers

Congratulations on your new position!  Our office is here to help you in your new adventure as youth minister!

"...although it is never easy to approach young people, two things have become increasingly evident: the realization that the entire community has to be involved in evangelizing them, and the urgent requirement that young people take on a greater role in pastoral outreach."  ~ Pope Francis, Christus Vivit, 202.

I was just hired by a parish... now what?

We want to support you and your ministry!  If you are new to your parish, we want to get you connected with our office and with other youth ministers.  Even if you are not new to youth ministry, but are new to your parish, please reach out!

  • Our primary means of communication is our eNewsletter which generally goes out twice a month.  Please subscribe so you don't miss important information!  You can also seen past issues of the Office of Youth Ministry eNewsletter
  • Francine Costantini is the Director of Youth Ministry for the dicoese and Cari Reagan is the Youth Ministry Specialist.  We would love the opportunity to meet with you to pray together and support you in any way we can.  Email us to set up a time to meet!
  • We have many opportunities for training, formation, and prayer - please take advantage of them!  Do not try to go it alone.  Nobody quite understands the joys and challenges of youth ministry like other youth ministers.  Staying connected to other youth ministers will help you thrive in ministry.
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Diocesan Safe Environment Requirements

You and all your volunteers need to do the following:

  •  VIRTUS TRAINING CLASS: Register by going to https://www.virtusonline.org.  Click on “First-Time Registrant” on the left side of the page.  Select Cleveland OH (Diocese) and choose a session that works for your schedule.
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: You must complete a criminal background check to volunteer/work with minors. We have two acceptable forms of screening: Selection.com or fingerprinting. We recommend Selection.com, which is a secure online portal that can be accessed directly from your VIRTUS account under the Toolbox tab. But check with your organization’s VIRTUS Coordinator, if they direct you to fingerprinting, then complete it that way. 
  • READ AND SIGN the "Policy for Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse-Revised 2016."  It can be viewed and/or downloaded in English or Spanish.  Print out the last full page, sign it, scan and email it to your parish/school’s VIRTUS Coordinator to enter it into the system.
  • READ AND SIGN the “Standards of Conduct for Ministry - Revised 2016.”  It can be viewed and/or downloaded in English or Spanish.  Print out the last full page, sign it, scan and email it to your parish/school’s VIRTUS Coordinator to enter it into the system.
  • VIRTUS BULLETINS:  Once you have taken the VIRTUS class, you will receive a monthly online bulletin to read.   You must read and complete AT LEAST 24 of these bulletins.  (You do not have to have them all done BEFORE you start volunteering... you will be sent links to them monthly after you attend the class, so just keep reading them and answering the question at the end of each bulletin.)  You can see how many bulletins you have read and catch up on older ones by logging into your VIRTUS account here: https://www.virtusonline.org.

Questions on this?  Please contact Sharon Minson, Director of the Office for Protecting God's Children.

2023-2024 Training and Formation Opportunities

  • First Things in Youth Ministry - NEW!

    • Launches with the Day at the Diocese on September 27, 2023 from 10am-4pm at Cathedral Square.
    • The First Things Cohort is designed for those who have been doing youth ministry for 3 years or less - or who need a refresher on the basics.  It is to help share the practical and important information for starting youth ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland.  Think of it as Basic Training in comprehensive youth ministry.  This includes USCCB and Papal documents on youth ministry, diocesan standards, training on volunteers, safe environment, teen culture, programming, budgeting, fundraising, and more.
    • Online or in-person cohort meetings every 2-3 weeks for 6 sessions, starting in October
    • Cost: $50 and includes all cohort materials and 1-year membership to the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
    • Registration on our events webpage.
  • Blessed Carlo Institute for Youth Ministers

    • August 6-9, 2024 at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe
    • Part of the Academy of the Good Shepherd, the Blessed Carlo Institute is a four-day, three-night experience of formation hosted at the Center for Pastoral Leadership that includes classes each morning taught by seminary professors, afternoon workshops by ministry experts, off-camps excursions, daily Mass, and more.
    • Cost: $450 and includes lodging and meals
    • ALL youth ministers and campus ministers - not just newbies - are invited to this institute!
    • For details about this classes and workshops this year, and to register go to our webpage.
  • Fostering a Heart for Teens

    • 2024 date TBD (generally in August)
    • This is a day of training for your youth ministry volunteers.  Bring your adult volunteers who minister to middle school and high school teens.  There will breakout sessions and time to pray together,  The more you train and form your volunteers, the better they will minister to your teens and the longer they will stay engaged! 
    • Youth ministers, clergy, religious, and seminarians attend for free
    • Cost for volunteers: $25 and includes lunch
    • Check out the FLYER to see topics for this year
    • Register on our events webpage.
  • Pastor and Youth Minister Gathering

    • Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 10am-2pm, St. Mary Parish in Hudson
    • All priests, deacons, and youth ministers are invited to this gathering!  Join Francine Costantini, Director of Youth Ministry, along with special guests Bishop Woost, Katie Prejean McGrady, and Fr. Eric Garris as we reflect on the state of youth ministry in our diocese and identify ways to and support and minister to young people, especially in light of the Eucharistic Revival.  The day will include time in Eucharistic Adoration with Bishop Woost, and breakout time for priests.
    • Katie Prejean McGrady is a former youth minister, speaker, author, podcaster, and daily radio show host. She has traveled the world sharing the Gospel, and calls Lake Charles, Louisiana home.
    • Registration on our events webpage.
  • Desert Day Retreat

    • Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 9am-5:30pm at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Parma
    • You are invited to join us for a quiet day of prayer.  We cannot give from an empty cup, so come and be filled. We will start with a talk, then invite you to spend the day with Jesus.  Opportunities for Confession, spiritual direction, Adoration, and Mass will be available.
    • Cost: $50 (or $25 for those who need assistance)
    • Registration on our events webpage.
  • Youth Minister Bootcamps

    • YM Bootcamps are opportunities to dive into topics with other youth ministers, learning best practices and honing your skills. Often we have experts presenting, but sometimes we crowdsource ministry solutions from
    • the experts in the room - YOU!  
    • These gatherings are generally held every 4-6 weeks to cover topics in youth ministry.  We often have an optional lunch before or after the bootcamp.
    • Registration opens for upcoming bootcamps about 1-2 months in advance on our events webpage.
    • Upcoming bootcamps:
      • August 31, 2023 - 2-4pm - WeGiveCatholic Fundraising for Youth Ministry with Jackie Brauser
      • November 21, 2023 - 10am-12pm - Marriage Prep & Resources for Youth & Families with Terri Yohman and Maria Wancata
      • December 14, 2023 - 10am-12pm - Divorce Care for Teens with Luke Brown, LPCC
      • January 18, 2024 - 1-3pm - Solving Behavioral Issues in Ministry with Michelle Nowak
      • March 20, 2024 - 10am-12pm - The Propaedeutic Stage with Fr. Andrew Turner and Fr. Eric Garris
      • April 17, 2024 - 1-3pm - TBD
      • May 9, 2024 - 10am-12pm - TBD

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