Youth Ministry

Welcome to BLAZE Youth Ministry

2021-22 Registration is now open! Download the packet available in the right column, fill out the forms, and send it back via email or return it to the Parish Office by Sunday, September 26.

Rooted in the principles of Ignatian Spirituality, Blaze will be a vibrant community of 6-12 graders seeking to live their lives for the Greater Glory of God (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or AMDG). Blaze will inspire students to find God in every aspect of their lives through small group discussion, community service, and joyful large group events. Students in Blaze are encouraged to think critically, to examine their faith, and to go forth and set the world on fire.

Upcoming Events

Special Event!
Help lead Stations of the Cross for the parish on Friday, March 18. We'll rehearse beginning at 4:30pm (dinner included) and Stations will begin at 6:30. The event should end around 7:15pm. Students should wear non-ripped jeans and be ready to wear an assigned t-shirt (provided). RSVP to Allie at [email protected].

SPARK (Grades 6-8)
All students in grades 6-8 are welcome to the following events (more detail to follow). All events will be Sundays from 7pm-8:30pm in the Parish Hall unless noted otherwise.

October 17
November 7
December 12 - Youth Ministry Christmas Event and Service Project TIME TBA
December 29 - Youth Ministry Ice Skating TIME TBA
January 9
February 6
February 12 & 13 - Souper Bowl of Caring service project at all masses
March 20 - Youth Ministry Lenten Event and Service Project
April 24 -  Movie Night! We'll watch a film and then discuss it through the lens of our faith. *Adjusted Time 6:30-9*
May 15

IGNITE (Grades 9-12)
All students in grades 9-12 are welcome to the following events (more detail to follow). All events will be Sundays from 7pm-8:30pm in the Parish Hall unless noted otherwise.

October 24
November 14
December 12 - Special Event: Christmas Event and Service Project - Grades 6-12
December 29 - Special Event: Ice Skating (Time TBA)
January 23
February 12-13 - Special Event: Souper Bowl of Caring
February 27
March 20 - Special Event: Lenten Event and Service Project, Grades 6-12
April 24 - Movie Night! We'll watch a movie and then discuss it through the lens of our faith. *Adjust time 6:30-9*
May 22 


What is BLAZE?

Our Philosophy

Blaze is based in the main principles of Ignatian Spirituality and Jesuit teachings. First and foremost, all meetings, events, etc. will be done in the spirit of AMDG, or for the Greater Glory of God – that is, everything done in the name of Blaze will be done to praise and glorify God. Blaze is also founded on the principle that God can be found in every thing, event, and aspect of our lives; therefore, the students of Blaze will learn how to find God in their everyday lives. Blaze will also never forget that according to Ignatian principles, spirituality is not just prayer, Sacraments, and serious contemplation – spirituality also encompasses joy, friendship, and laughter. In addition, one of the biggest tenants of Ignatian principles is “Men and women for others,” which is both a statement of the importance of service for others as well as the concept of Cura Personalis, which is the idea that the person in front of you is the most important person in the world in that moment – that every person is important and must be cared for fully in body, mind, and soul, and that every person must be respected as a Child of God. Therefore, Blaze will be heavily involved in community service and relationship building within our Greater Cleveland community. St. Ignatius of Loyola also signed his letters with a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Go forth and set the world on fire,” which is an encouragement to his followers to evangelize, to share the Good News, and to share God’s love with each and every person they encounter. Students of Blaze will be encouraged to also do this – to radically change the world through sharing God’s love in their actions and encounters with others.

The teaching philosophy behind Blaze is one of student-led discussion, critical thinking, asking questions, and relationship-forward community service. Blaze will include both large-group events that include service projects and community building, and small groups that encourage learning, asking the big questions of our faith, and examining our faith – what we believe, why we believe it, and what our beliefs call us to do as Catholics and responsible citizens. Students in small groups will be encouraged to ask questions and think critically in order to explore and deepen their faith. 
Our Structure

Blaze will be divided into two divisions – Spark, for grades 6-8, and Ignite, for grades 8-9-12. Each division will also have a leadership team of their senior members – 8th graders for Spark, and 10th grade and above for Ignite. The leadership teams will assist in planning topics and events as well as act as student leaders at large group events.

There will also be small groups, called Fire groups, of 4-5 students and one adult. The Fire groups will be used for discussion and learning. The Spark Fire groups will focus on the basic questions of our faith – what we believe and why we believe it. Spark Fire groups will use YouCat as a guide for understanding and discussion. The Ignite Fire groups will cover why we believe things and how to live as responsible Catholic citizens in society.

Spark will meet the first week of the month, with the Spark Fire groups meeting the following week. Ignite will meet the third week of the month, with the Ignite Fire groups meeting the following week.

Blaze, which is the combination of both the Spark and Ignite divisions, will meet 2-4 times per year for things like a yearly kickoff prayer service and party and large service events, such as Souper Bowl of Caring.

Leadership teams will meet at the beginning and middle of each semester to plan and discuss how everything is working.
Our Rules
1. Students may only miss two or fewer Fire groups per semester
2. No cell phones during meetings or events
3. Parents must volunteer once per semester
4. Leadership team must attend meetings
5. Behavior issues will be dealt with in the following manner:
      a. First Offence -- Given a warning, asked to stay after on cleanup duty
      b. Second Offence -- Pulled aside, talked to about behavior, asking them to change the behavior, warned that parents will be called if the behavior doesn't change
      c. Third Offence – Asked to sit out of the rest of the event, parents called and behavior discussed. If behavior gets to this point in more than one event, a discussion will be had with the family if Blaze is a good fit for the student. 
6. Absolutely no bullying, racism, anti-semitism, hate speech, anti-LGBQ speech, etc. will be tolerated. Any behavior to the contrary of this rule will be an immediate Third Offence consequence.
7.  COVID guidelines will be followed:
      a.  Any in-person events will be held outside as weather allows
      b.  Masks are required for in-person events
      c.  Large-group events will be primarily virtual
      d. Any in-person events will be held to strict social distancing standards -- everyone must be a minimum of 6ft apart (places will be marked/labeled)

COVID-19 Policies

We are currently planning on meeting in person as possible, but with the rapidly rising cases in Ohio, this is subject to change. Masks are requested for all events and for all students, regardless of vaccination status. Because of the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, these policies and guidelines are subject to change. These policies and guidelines are guided by science and the guidelines put forth by the Diocese of Cleveland.

There are three generic plans, depending on the status of the school opening. 

Plan 1: School is opened as normal/everyone in-person full-time

1.    All events will meet in-person, including large-group events

2.    Social distancing will still be in effect (3-6ft apart at all times)

3.    Masks are required

4.    Hand sanitizer will be provided at the door, and must be used to enter

5.    All participants must sign in

6.    All participants will answer screening questions and have their temperature checked.

7.    Events will be held outside as long as weather permits

8.    There will be a link to participate in the event virtually for the in-person events

Plan 2: School is partially opened

1.    Small-group events will be in person, large-group events will be virtual

2.    Social distancing will be in effect (6ft apart at all times)

3.    Masks are required

4.    Hand sanitizer will be provided at the door, and must be used to enter

5.    All participants must sign in

6.    All participants will answer screening questions and have their temperature checked.

7.    Events (even the small-group events) will be held outside as long as weather permits.

8.    There will be a link to participate in the event virtually for the in-person events.

Plan 3: School is online only

1.    All events will be virtual until otherwise instructed that it’s safe to meet in-person.


Specific Policies

1.    Masks are mandatory – this is not optional. No mask, no entry, no participation. Students are asked to bring their own masks.

2.    Outdoor meetings and events – social distancing will still be observed even through we’re outside. 

3.    RSVP for events – RSVP is now mandatory for events. This is to ensure that materials can be safely prepared ahead of time. No RSVP means no materials ready for you to participate.

4.    Social distancing – we will keep to a strict 6ft apart. No activities or icebreakers that include sharing materials, no passing of items. Places will be marked at 6ft apart. Any materials for the event will be pre-packaged, labeled, and placed at socially-distant stations.

5.    Hand sanitizer – hand sanitizer will be available at the door, and it is mandatory to use before entering.

6.    Signing in – everyone must sign in to events as a precaution. Signing in allows for easy contact tracing in case someone contracts COVID.

7.    COVID Screening – to enter an event, all participants will have their temperature checked and answer a series of screening questions. This is not optional. No screening means no participation.

8.    Food – if food or drink is available at events, it will all be pre-packaged, labeled, and placed at stations. There will be no buffet-style food or drinks. 

9.    Environment – if the event is inside, tables and chairs will be wiped down prior to and after the event.

10. COVID Positive – if someone presents with COVID-19 symptoms and/or tests positive within 14 days after a meeting which they attended in-person, they MUST notify Allie so that she can contact those that were at the meeting to tell them to self-quarantine and watch for symptoms. Notifying Allie is non-negotiable. Your identity will remain confidential.

Youth Ministry Videos

Witness: Jamaica Changed My Life - Nicki Mlakar


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Youth Ministry Photos

Stay Connected

Allie Gall
Coordinator of Youth Ministry
Youth Ministry E-mail Newsletter
Join our mailing list here
Interested in text updates?
Sign up for Remind by texting @blaze2020 to 81010
Follow us on Instagram @sja_ym 

Forms and Downloads

Volunteer with Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry is always looking for adults to volunteer their time and talents! Any adult over 21 is welcome to help out. Please register as a volunteer HERE.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

496 East Washington Street
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022
P: 440-247-7183
F: 440-247-2327

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