The Youth Apostles Institute is a vibrant and growing ministry serving the Diocese of Arlington and Richmond in Virginia. Youth Apostles is a non-profit organization officially approved by the Catholic Church as a mixed Public Association of Christ’s Faithful. Youth Apostles are priests and laymen who work with other volunteers to inspire young people to live a Christ-centered life. They are currently serving in many parishes and college campuses across Virginia.
Youth Apostles Mission Statement:
The Youth Apostles Institute is committed to evangelize, teach, advise, challenge, console, and love the young with the ultimate purpose of inspiring them to live a Christ-like life centered on prayer and the Sacraments in the Catholic Church.
Youth Apostles Institute was founded by Dr. Eduardo Azcarate in 1979 after working with young people for many years at his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Azcarate started a new program at the parish based on his own Jesuit approach to teen formation, called Catholic Life Community (CLC), which developed into Youth Apostles.
I recently joined the Youth Apostles on their annual retreat in Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. It is a wonderful experience to have daily Mass and prayer with this inspiring community of priests, young people, and their families. I was very proud that my godson, Matthew Clem, became a candidate of YA during this retreat. I had the opportunity to talk with their current director, Fr. Jack Peterson, YA, who joined as a young man and inspired by the same retreats–answered the call to become a Youth Apostle priest.
Fr. Jack explained the inspiration for Youth Apostles comes from the three patron saints who were chosen by the early community: St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Bosco. As men who aspire both to cultivate their own interior life and to put the fruits of this prayer into action, the community’s founders looked to examples who could help us form our heads, hearts, and hands for the work. St. Ignatius was very scholarly and represents the HEAD of Youth Apostles in its work for teaching the faith. St. Francis was chosen for his love of the Eucharist and community, and represent the HEART through his work for the poor and rebuilding the church community. St. John Bosco represents the HANDS of the community through his inspiring work with youth. Fr. Jack sees a great need for serving young people and offering ministry drawing youth to a life centered on a loving community in Christ.
Fr. Jack is currently very concerned about the issue of the widespread use of pornography and negative effects on youth. He has taken this concern to help in ministering at Youth Apostles in education, catechesis, and the sacrament of reconciliation. I have included some useful links below on this subject.
The Youth Apostles Institute is a 501c3 Non-Profit ministry now serving in many parishes in youth ministry and campus communities. Fr. Jack hopes that Youth Apostles will grow to more diocese in the near future and asks for your support. Please help Youth Apostles with your prayers, time, and treasure. Youth Apostles are now serving the following college communities:
Christopher Newport University
George Mason University
Old Dominion University
Resources on pornography (Catholics Come Home)
Video: Overcoming Pornography Addiction (Catholic Answers)