The youth already had a firm bonding established among them, either serving together in the Altar Servers Ministry or participating in events with The Legion of Mary and other parish social activities. Members of this core group were also involved in teaching at Sunday school, acting as leaders or mentors to the junior altar servers, assisting with ushering during masses, and even participating as lectors.
In October 2005, the newly formed group had its first fundraising event - a Halloween Party - and attracted several parishioners of all ages. Bingo, raffles, silent auctions and fun games were held for all to enjoy, and prizes were awarded for the best costume. The youth were pleased with their immediate success, and with amplified enthusiasm, began planning "bigger and better" events for the future.
A series of youth events followed in 2006, including the well-attended Bowling Night and the unforgettable Pizza Night, providing countless hours of entertainment for all Youth Group members. In May, a dozen of the youth attended a retreat organized for them, at Manresa Jesuit Retreat Centre in Pickering. As many would agree, it was a day well spent, providing an opportunity for spiritual renewal and reflection.
Two members of the group also attended a leadership workshop organized by the Office of Catholic Youth. The funding of this and other activities came from the youth fund, which has continued to grow with several fundraising events. The Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women's League have both been very supportive of the Youth Group here at St. Joseph's, and have generously assisted in the funding of several youth initiatives.
Towards the end of 2006, the Youth Group organized another successful "Halloween Bash", completing the number of fundraising events for the year. To wrap up, they ushered in the New Year with the organization of a New Year's Youth Dance at a nearby hall.
Beginning in February 2007, the Youth Group initiated a fresh series of fundraising events, starting with a new and innovative "Coffee, Tea and Snacks" event, which was held in the Parish Hall after the 5:00PM and 11:00AM weekend masses. Needless to say there was an overwhelmingly supportive response from the parishioners of St. Joseph's, making this event extremely successful. The Youth Group's biggest hit, however, was the screening of the movie, "Madagascar", in late February. This fundraiser proved to be one of the SJYG team's best attended social events to date, with a great evening filled with food, drinks, fun and laughter.
In March, 2007 the Parish Office invited ten senior members of the Youth Group to attend the 17th. Annual Ordinandi Dinner organized and sponsored by the Serra Clubs of Toronto. This was an opportunity for our youth to witness and experience the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Finally, by the end of April, elections were held for the incoming office bearers of the 2007 Youth Group council. By the beginning of May, event planning was once again underway, and the team did not waste any time in preparing for a Mother's Day "Coffee, Tea, Snacks and Roses". Soon after, the team began ongoing preparations for their big Talent Show, which was recently held in early June. With frequent auditions and well-attended dress rehearsals, this event was a huge success. Over 25 dedicated individuals displayed a wide variety of talents, ranging from accordion, flute, glockenspiel, piano and guitar to singing, jazz, liturgical and salsa dancing, each performance of incredible standard.
Members of the Youth Group also assisted at the Annual Parish Picnic and had fun organizing games at this event.
St. Joseph's Youth Group has developed and grown into a dynamic, enthusiastic and fun Catholic organization where members are able to interact and share their experiences with one another. The SJYG Team and their already successful efforts will continue to focus on Church, family, community and social activities.
Some Youth Group Events
July 2008 - Youth BBQ
On Sunday July 6th, 2008, St. Joseph's Parish held a Youth BBQ to raise money for the World Youth Days event to be held in Midland July 17th - 20th, 2008.
Many people came out to the parish to enjoy the afternoon. the weather was perfect and the food delicious. Thank you to all the organizers and of course to all our wonderful young people.Some memories from that event.
June 2008 - Awards
Some members of our youth received many awards at the end of this School Year in their different schools. We congratulate: Brittany Burrows from Notre Dame High School, who received eleven awards. Brittany finished her Grade 12, and will be entering university.
Others are James Ramdial and Onella Pereira, both from Cardinal
Leger Catholic School, in our parish. They graduated from Grade eight, and both recived the School Award.
Congratulations to all of them.
The Youth Group participated in putting on a Hallowe'en Party in the church hall for the children in our parish. Some memories from that event.