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Youth Ministry 

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus leaves us with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), to go and make disciples of all nations.  At St James,  Youth Discipleship and Evangelization strives to live the parish mission statement: Be disciples of Christ. Make disciples of Christ. We can’t give what we don’t have. We strive to become disciples by:

  • Prayer and the Sacraments
    Through mass, prayer, and the sacraments we come to know Jesus and His Church.
  • Friendship
    Weekly LIFETEEN and EDGE Nights help us build authentic friendships where we encourage our peers to bring their faith into their daily lives.

  • Serving and Loving Others
    In sharing the Gospel, we share Christ by going outside of ourselves to love and serve others.  


Click the tabs below to see ways you can get involved!

Join us every Sunday night for LIFETEEN after the 5PM Sunday Mass in the Laramie Room (Church basement)! LIFETEEN Sundays are called Life Nights. Our Life Nights are designed to bring students together through small groups within a large group content. High schoolers will stay in these same small groups for the entire year which will help build and foster friendships with their peers in those groups. Each Life Night night will follow this format:  Gather, Proclaim, Break, Send.

  • GATHER: Bringing teens together for ice breakers, Jimmy Fallon type games, and dinner.
  • PROCLAIM: 8-10 minute talk given by an adult relating some aspect of the faith to the teens and their lives
  • BREAK: 40-50 minute small group time to digest and apply the theme of the night to their lives. This is where teens will have the opportunity to go deeper into the gospel message, dive into scripture with their group, and freely ask questions. These groups stay together for the entire year allowing the students to grow together in Christ centered friendships. 
  • SEND: After the Break, the teens will all come back together and will do a form of prayer to close out the night (Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Praise and Worship, Intercessory Prayer etc.) The hope is at the end of a year going to Life Nights, teens will have been introduced to at least 20 different ways to pray and hopefully will connect with one of these ways to pray to personalize their relationship with Jesus.




All Life Nights will be from 6:00pm- 8:00pm in the Laramie Room (Church Basement). Any student grades 9 – 12 are invited to attend LIFETEEN each week.


The fee for high school students is $150 for the year. This will help to cover the cost of dinner, outside speakers and musicians and other resources and materials will use throughout the year. 

To register for LIFETEEN, simply click HERE.
We would like all students to register to keep count of food, but if you’d like to check it out, you can register without payment. 

We look forward to walking with all of the families here at St. James. For financial assistance  or questions, please do not hesitate to email Christina Hudson (


Parent Core Team
There are many different ways to serve, pray for, and support our new youth ministry programs. If you feel called to serve the youth of our parish, please consider applying for our Core Team. CLICK HERE to access the application.


Our fall retreat was a great success! Thank you to all our teens and core members who joined us for that epic weekend! The retreat was offered for any St. James teen grades 9-12 last November in Kansasville, WI at St. iakovos Retreat Center. They came together for a weekend of engaging talks, amazing musicians, great conversation, prayer, fun and made some new friends while going deeper with old friends. We’re starting preparations for next year’s retreat and can’t wait to have you there!
Check out the recap video:

Retreat Theme: MADE FOR THIS
The retreat will be based off Esther 4:14, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”.  There is no mistake we were created for this time. Teens will be encouraged to live out their faith for the here and now, that in any obstacles or challenges that may come their way, they were made “for such a time as this.”

Who Went?
Jonathan Blevins | Director of Evangelization and Formation, St. James
Christina Hudson | High School Youth Ministry, St. James
Matthew Lawson | Middle School Youth Ministry, St. James
Sarah Pringle | Coordinator of Youth Ministry, St. Paul the Apostle
Sarra Stanley | FOCUS Parish Missionary, St. James

Mass Celebrants
Fr. Ryan McMillin | St. James
Fr. Radley Alcantara | St. Anastasia, Waukegan

Keynote Speaker: Nic Frank

Nic Frank will be making his return to the St. James community. He made his debut speaking to our adult community at Theology on Tap this past summer. He will be joining our teens on retreat and giving the main talks of each day. Nic is a Catholic speaker and has been a keynote speaker at various Steubenville Conferences encouraging teens to know Jesus and grow in relationship with Him.

Musicians: James & Krystin Opdenhoff
James and Krystin Opendoff will be leading music during the retreat. James and Kristyn are professional musicians and readily share their gifts going to different parishes around the country leading teens in prayer through music.

4:30PM – Students will meet Core Members & Chaperones on Friday evening at 4:30pm for dinner and to load buses
6:30PM– Arrival to St. Iakovos Retreat Center (920 224th Ave, Kansasville, WI 53139)

11:00AM – Students will return from the retreat at 11AM and will close the retreat with Sunday mass at 11:30AM at St. James. Parents and families can join their teens for mass. Teens are free to go after mass.

Register Today!

 $100 for registered LIFETEEN students; $150 for Retreat ONLY Students (If you have already registered for LIFETEEN, but would like to include the retreat fee, please let us know and we will make that adjustment for you on your teen’s registration). Cost for the retreat includes: registration, housing, meals, & transportation.





EDGE is the title of our Middle School Youth Ministry Program here at St. James. The program is designed to bring students together as a large group for fun and games and then break off into small groups. Middle schoolers stay in the same small groups for the entire year which will help build and foster friendships with their peers in those groups. All students grades 6-8 are invited to attend EDGE each weekEach EDGE night will follow this format:  Gather, Proclaim, Break, Send. 

  • GATHER: Large group ice breaker and chance for kids to meet (Games, Music, Snacks)
  • PROCLAIM:  a 6-8 minute talk relating their current life to the faith
  • BREAK: Small group time! These small groups will be led by an adult Core Member who will facilitate the discussion to tie in the talk in “Proclaim” to help the students digest and apply it to their lives
  • SEND: At the end of the night we will always close in a different form of prayer each week. The hope is by praying in a large group, students will be able to connect with a way to pray to deepen their relationship with Jesus. 

Here is a video to give you an idea of why we have chosen EDGE and why we are confident in what this can do for our youth at St. James:

EDGE will meet on Tuesday evenings and will follow the RE calendar for the year. The nights will run from 6:30-8:00 pm. 


The fee for EDGE is $50 which will help to cover the cost of snacks and some of the materials that we will use throughout the year.Click HERE to register today!

We look forward to walking with all of the families here at St. James and please do not hesitate to email Matthew Lawson if you have any questions at

Parent Core Team
There are many different ways to serve, pray for, and support our new youth ministry programs. If you feel called to serve the youth of our parish, please consider applying for our Core Team. CLICK HERE to access the application.















Welcome to Confirmation 2019/2020 here at St. James! We are so excited to journey with you this upcoming year. Below is a list of our Confirmation Classes for the upcoming year. We will meet from 3:00-5:00 pm central time at St. James School. Please CLICK HERE to register for Confirmation.  

September 15
October 6
November 10
December 8
January 12
February 9
March 8
April 19

Rehearsal and Confirmation Masses: TBD

We look forward to walking with all of the families here at St. James and please do not hesitate to email Matthew Lawson if you have any questions at

Click HERE to register today!

Parent Involvement ( EDGE Core Team & Catechist Interest)
There are many different ways to serve, pray for, and support our new youth ministry programs and confirmation classes. If you feel called to serve the youth of our parish, please consider applying for our Core Team. CLICK HERE to access the application. If you would like to serve as a catechist for confirmation, please CLICK HERE to register. 














Parent/Adult Volunteer Opportunities

If you feel called to serve or support our new youth ministry programs, for LIFETEEN and EDGE, below are ways you can help!

Prayer Team
Join a team of prayer warriors who pray for the adults and teens in youth ministry.

Cooking for and providing meals/snacks for the teens on our Sunday Life Nights is an essential part of LIFETEEN. We do have a weekly budget to cover the cost for supplies for the LIFETEEN dinner. If anyone has a cooking forte, or an awesome recipe, and would like to share them for some growing and hungry teenagers, we’d love to add you to the rotation.

Sign Up here: 

Core Team/ Small Group Leaders
These adults are the small group leaders who journey with their group of teens throughout the year. Core Team members will receive the outlines head of time so they can review the content as well as scripture verses, questions, and talking points for their small groups. As they get to know their groups more, they will be able to tailor the questions to better fit their group. Please sign up here if you are interested:

We are still in need of some awesome catechists for our Confirmation program! If you would like to serve as a catechist for confirmation, please CLICK HERE to register, or feel free to reach out to Matthew Lawson with any questions you might have about being a catechist.



















Summer Missions

RESTORE Mission Work Camp
We are called to be imitators of Christ and share His love through our actions, kindness, and love for one another. Join St. James Youth on mission each summer for service, spiritual growth, and fun! Join us as we join youth from other parishes for our summer mission. This summer, we are excited to go to St. Louis!

St. Louis
June 15 – 20, 2020 
Current 9th – 12th graders 
Cost of Registration: $600 (includes transportation, housing, meals)


Restore Mission Camps focus on assisting communities in need through work projects and service. Restore goes to some of the most populated and poverty stricken cities in the country. Work projects could include anything from major rebuilds to minor repairs. In the evenings, teens will attend evening sessions filed with dynamic speakers and musicians and high quality programming to connect and strengthen teens and their relationships with one another and Jesus Christ. Each of these sessions will break open scriptural topics to build deeper spiritual connections with the teens and their Catholic faiths. 


Local Mission 2020: July 21-23
July 21—July 23, 2020 (7:30am-3:30pm)
9th – 12th graders (Fall 2020)
Registration Cost : $50

Join us July 21-23 for the Local Mission Trip. We will kick off the Local Mission in two locations: Racetrack Backstretch (8th-12th graders) and Mission Our Lady of the Angels (option for 11-12th graders). In the Backstretch, we will be creating a mini summer camp for the children there with games, sports, arts & crafts and more! Over at the Mission OLA, teens will be helping the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in the west side of Chicago. Everyone will meet again to serve at St. Malachy in Chicago for the last three days to clean and restore the school and church for the school year. We will also host a cook out and outdoor games for the summer school kids.

Mission OLA & St. Malachy 
July 21-23, 2020
9th- 12th grade
Registration and Cost coming soon!


Chaperones Needed
If you are interested in being a chaperone for the RESTORE St. Louis Trip or Local Mission, please contact Christina Hudson ( All chaperones must be 21 or older. In compliance with the Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, all chaperones must be VIRTUS trained. VIRTUS training is offered throughout the Chicagoland area. Please click here to register for a training that fits your schedule.        




 2018 Recap Thank you to all the teens and chaperones who made mission season 2018 possible! Our time in Farmington, MI with Catholic Heart and our local mission serving our neighbors in Arlington Heights and Chicago was truly blessed.   





Middle School Summer Camp

Hidden Lake Summer Camp
When you take all the fun and adventure of a week of summer camp and combine it with the beauty of the Catholic Church you get one life changing experience.  We’re excited to invite all Sant James middle schoolers to this camp in the mountains of Georgia.

Dahlonega, GA 
July 12 – 18, 2020 
Current 6th – 8th graders 
Cost of Registration: $600 (includes transportation, housing, meals)

Summer camp with Life Teen is an incredible opportunity to bring your teens into an incredible experience of life. For over 15 years, Life Teen has provided experiences at summer camp for thousands of teens every summer. It is a place where your middle school youth and high school teens are able to be free and confident in themselves, develop new friendships with other teens from your parish, and encounter God working in their lives. This is the summer that you begin to experience a bigger and better life than you ever thought possible. We will be joined by some of the greatest speakers from around the country as well as lead by Life Teens full time missionaries.  Join us for a week of fun, faith, fellowship, and adventure!







If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can be involved with youth ministry at St. James, please contact: 

Matthew Lawson
Middle School Youth Ministry
Confirmation Coordinator
(224) 345 – 7208

Christina Hudson
High School Youth Ministry
(224) 345 – 7214

Theresa Storto
Administrative Assistant for Evangelization and Formation
(224) 345 – 7213