Calling all high school students!

Rise is Saint Matthew’s Youth Group open to all high-school-aged students who desire a place to breathe. This world is crazy, and we often find ourselves going a mile a minute with everything. Rise Youth Group is an opportunity to not necessarily slow down, but rather intentionally get to know God, ourselves and others. Our group doesn’t exist to just sit around the entire time; we play plenty of games and sports, enjoy delicious food and ultimately build community. Additionally, we help teens truly grow in their relationships with Jesus through talks, discussions, prayer nights, the sacraments and retreats.

A Letter to Students

If I could go back and tell my high school self one thing, it would be…go to Youth Group! I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s the Youth Minister; she has to say that.” No, I don’t. Genuinely, this is and has been my answer long before I even considered applying for this job. Let me explain why.

When I was your age, I really had no interest in Youth Group. But all my friends were going, so I gave it a try. Within one year, I deemed it a waste of my time. I had fallen into this trap of believing I knew everything I needed to know about God and the Catholic faith. So why should I go to Youth Group? Unfortunately, I didn’t want to come up with an answer at the time, so I just stopped going. But the obvious truth was I didn’t know everything, and I could’ve actually used a Youth Group to show me who Jesus truly is. I had all this book knowledge, but I was struggling to turn that into a more personal relationship with my Savior.

Do you think you know everything about your best friend? Do you think you will ever know everything about your best friend? Spoiler alert: the answer should be no, because your friend is constantly growing. Similarly, we’re never done getting to know Jesus. It’s a life-long journey that He desires to have with us.

Praise God, I eventually found my way, but God only knows how much easier it would’ve been if I simply said yes to a Youth Group. However, there is a reason why I had this experience, and I truly believe He meant it to be shared with you.

Whether you relate to my story or not, please come to Youth Group. Wherever you are in your relationship with Jesus, you are always welcome. Regardless of what school you go to or how often you go to Church, Jesus wants you here. He did not make us to walk this journey alone.

Honestly, we need you, and we want you to be a part of our Youth Group. You never know how Jesus will work, so let’s experience it together.

God Bless you!
Antoinette Hanning

Frequently Asked Questions

Rise is Saint Matthew’s youth group for students in high school. We meet most Sundays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the parish conference center to play games and sports, learn about our Catholic faith, discuss how it plays out in our everyday lives, and build true fellowship with one another. If you are new to Rise, be sure to check in with us before you come to ensure we are not off-campus hiking, canoeing, or laser-tagging. This youth group exists for high school students to grow together in holiness, grow closer to Christ, and ultimately, become the man or woman God destined them to become.

While each night might look a little different, most nights will include a provided dinner, games/sports, an engaging talk on an important and relevant topic, time to discuss the topic with each other and discern how it relates to their everyday life, and, of course, prayer.  Some nights this may be opening and closing in prayer, while other nights may involve praise and worship and/or Adoration in front of Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. 

The registration fee covers most of Rise’s expenses throughout the year, such as dinners, supplies, and resources for our meetings.

The intellectual formation students receive in Catholic schooling is a noble and necessary investment.  At Rise, however, we go beyond the knowledge of our faith into engaging and responding to how to live our faith in today’s tumultuous world. Rise is the place for teens to meet other like-minded students, normalizing holiness, encouraging one another, and going deeper into their faith. Their formation from Catholic school will serve as a great foundation for them to build community and grapple with the challenges they face as a Catholic teen in today’s world. 

Whether a brand new member is a rising freshman or a senior in high school, every teen who comes to Rise will be welcomed as Christ. Undoubtedly, building friendships, community and belonging takes time, but we will always strive to facilitate an environment where these friendships can form effortlessly.  If your son or daughter has had a difficult experience and/or has not felt welcomed, please contact Antoinette directly so she can ensure an immediate solution to his or her experience.

Interested in joining our Core Team?

The youth group would not be successful without your help!  If you are interested in getting involved, there is always a need for more Core Team members to help in youth ministry efforts. Between setting up each night, assisting with food, or showcasing your soccer skills, your involvement is both needed and appreciated.  For more information, contact Antoinette and/or click the “Volunteer Registration” link above.

Contact Information

Antoinette Hanning
Director of Youth Ministry