Youth Ministry

Welcome to BLAZE Youth Ministry

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


Are you looking to enrich your spiritual life and challenge yourself mentally and physically? Jump in and join our Mile-a-Day in May challenge! Originally started by The Living Person, we're bringing this challenge to us. 

Walk or run a mile every day in May. Use the time to DISCONNECT and spend time in prayer and reflection. It doesn't matter what time of day, just make the time and do it. Listen to Christian music, pray, say the Rosary, or just spend time in reflection. Keep yourself accountable by joining our GroupMe (age 13+ only) or posting on Instagram and tagging @sja_ym and using the hashtag #mileaday, or simply by sending Allie a quick text or email!

Sign up here! Prizes for the people that complete all 31 days!


All students in grades 6-12 are invited to join in Weekly Walks at 10am on Saturday mornings! We begin with a prayer, then walk 1-2 miles simply enjoying being in community and in nature. No registration required. Walks will be rain or shine, barring severe storms. MASKS REQUIRED. See below for dates, times, and locations.

All walks are 10am on Saturdays.

10th, 17th, 24th at Frohring Meadows, 16780 Savage Rd., Chagrin Falls 44023
Meet in front of the large, enclosed shelter next to the main parking area.

15th, 22nd, 29th at Look About Lodge, South Chagrin Reservation
Meet outside the building.

5th, 12th, 26th at Holbrook Hollows, 7250 Country Lane, Chagrin Falls, 44023
Meet in front of the large, enclosed shelter.

SPARK (Grades 6-8)

IGNITE (Grades 9-12)


Fire Pit and Path Cleanup - Sunday, May 23 at 1pm. Meet in front of the school.
In order to use our fire pit and wooded path this summer, we need to clean it up! All students grades 6-12 plus parents are invited to help us do some heavy lifting and cleanup work. We'll be clearing large downed branches, raking out dead leaves, adding rocks around the fire pit, checking out and possibly repairing benches, etc. This will count for Confirmation service hours. Parent help and potentially power tools are a must! MASKS REQUIRED. Rain date of Saturday, June 5 at 12pm.


Keep an eye out for the following events: 
  • Field Day
  • Bonfires
  • Summer Bible Study
  • Retreat Day
  • Kayaking
  • MetroParks Service Opportunities
  • Outdoor Youth Mass


Blaze Registration
Welcome to Blaze! Please fill out separately for each student. 

Student First Name
Student Last Name
Student's Birthday (MM/DD/YYYY)
Student's Grade
Sign student up for Remind texts for Blaze updates, events, and reminders (age 13 and older only)
Student's Phone Number (only if YES to previous question)
Sign student up for Blaze email newsletters, updates, and reminders (age 13 or older only)
Student's Email (only if YES to previous question)
Student's Address (Street/City/ZIP)
Student's T-Shirt Size
Download this waiver, then fill out and save with file name LASTNAME FIRSTNAME. Then upload completed waiver. *If unable to upload, please fill out and send to Allie via mail (496 E Washington St. Chagrin Falls, OH 44022) or email ([email protected]).
Parent/Guardian #1 Name (First, Last)
Parent/Guardian #1 Phone Number
Do you want to receive text updates via the Remind app?
Parent/Guardian #1 Email
Do you want to receive the Blaze email newsletter?
Parent/Guardian #2 Name (First, Last)
Parent/Guardian #2 Phone Number
Do you want to receive text updates via the Remind app?
Parent/Guardian #2 Email
Do you want to receive the Blaze email newsletter?

To validate your submission, please answer the following math problem:

captcha math problem

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

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. AS OF 7/13/2020, WE ARE RUNNING PLAN 2

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

Downloadable version of our COVID-19 policies. Latest version: 7/13/2020
Required waiver for participation in Blaze events and activities.
Downloadable version of Blaze Mission Statement, Philosophy, Structure, and Rules.

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

 email us
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