Ministries‎ > ‎

Life Teen High School Movement

BTOC Life Teen Movement

From Our Teens...

I feel that this is a special gift that God has allowed us to have. I show up to Life Teen because it is a time to talk and discover with my fellow brothers and sisters about our religion -Zack S.

This is a place were I come and hang out with other young people and share in our common challenges, fears and joy's! -Julie A. 

Life Teen movement helps students involved to grow spiritually. It is a place were they can feel comfortable with their questions and get back loving answers. I love coming to Life Teen because it is a time when I can forget all the insanity of my life or what I have to do and just be in the moment with my fellow young church.-Aimee S.

Director of Youth Formation
Anna Maria Espinoza

                      What is

Eucharistic Spirituality.
Love.  Joy.  Affirmation.

Life Teen is a movement of the Holy Spirit, centered on the power of the Eucharist.  With our ministry focus on Christ in the Eucharist, our team strives to lead teens closer to Christ so He can transform teen lives, our parish, and ultimately our culture.

We meet every last Sunday of the month after our 5pm Youth Mass 
from 6:30pm - 8:00pm.
and yes,



posted Aug 22, 2013, 2:24 PM by Unknown user

By  JULY 29, 2013


Dear young friends:
If we want it to have real meaning and fulfilment, as you want and as you deserve, I say to each one of you, “Put on faith”, and your life will take on a new flavour, it will have a compass to show you the way; “put on hope” and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; “put on love”, and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you.

Jesus is the one who brings God to us and us to God.

“Put on Christ!” in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; “put on Christ” and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; “put on Christ” and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life.

Do not be afraid to ask God’s forgiveness! He never tires of forgiving us, like a father who loves us. God is pure mercy!


You too, dear young people, can be joyful witnesses of His love, courageous witnesses of His Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of His light.

The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!

Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it.

What do I expect as a consequence of the Youth Day? I expect a mess. There will be one. There will be a mess here in Rio? There will be! But I want a mess in the dioceses! I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street! I want us to defend ourselves against everything that is worldliness, that is installation, that is comfortableness, that is clericalism, that is being shut-in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions, exist to go out!


Jesus, with His Cross, walks with us and takes upon Himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful. With the Cross, Jesus unites Himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless.

The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own. Jesus accepts all this with open arms, bearing on His shoulders our crosses and saying to us:“Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you. I have overcome death and I have come to give you hope, to give you life” (John 3:16).

What has the Cross left in each one of us? You see, it gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the faithful love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us.

The Cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love.


Dear young people, let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, let us give ourselves over to Him (Lumen Fidei, 16), because He never disappoints anyone! Only in Christ crucified and risen can we find salvation and redemption. With Him, evil, suffering, and death do not have the last word, because He gives us hope and life: He has transformed the Cross from being an instrument of hate, defeat, and death to being a sign of love, victory, triumph and life.

There is no cross, big or small, in our life, which the Lord does not share with us.

We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.

Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return. But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture.


Nothing is more lofty than the abasement of the Cross, since there we truly approach the height of love!

Do we know anything more powerful than the strength hidden within the weakness of love, goodness, truth and people today are attracted by things that are faster and faster: rapid Internet connections, speedy cars and planes, instant relationships. But at the same time we see a desperate need for calmness, I would even say slowness. Is the Church still able to move slowly: to take the time to listen, to have the patience to mend and reassemble? Or is the Church herself caught up in the frantic pursuit of efficiency?

Without mercy we have little chance nowadays of becoming part of a world of “wounded” persons in need of understanding, forgiveness, love.

It is your life that Jesus wants to enter with His word, with His presence. Please, let Christ and His word enter your life, blossom and grow.

I am sure that you don’t want to be duped by a false freedom, always at the beck and call of momentary fashions and fads. I know that you are aiming high, at long-lasting decisions which will make your lives meaningful. Jesus is capable of letting you do this: He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Let’s trust in him. Let’s make Him our guide!

Negative feelings choke the Lord’s word in us.


Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; He also offers us a future with Him, an endless future, eternal life. But He asks us to train, “to get in shape”, so that we can face every situation in life undaunted, bearing witness to our faith. How do we get in shape? By talking with Him: by prayer, which is our daily conversation with God, who always listens to us. By the sacraments, which make his life grow within us and conform us to Christ. By loving one another, learning to listen, to understand, to forgive, to be accepting and to help others, everybody, with no one excluded or ostracized. Dear young people, be true “athletes of Christ”!

God calls you to make definitive choices, and He has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment.

I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love.

Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.

The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you.

“Do not be afraid!” When we go to proclaim Christ, it is he himself who goes before us and guides us. When he sent his disciples on mission, he promised: “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20). And this is also true for us! Jesus does not leave us alone, he never leaves you alone! He always accompanies you.


Be sure of this: my pastoral heart embraces all of you with universal affection.


posted Aug 8, 2013, 11:09 AM by Unknown user

By  AUGUST 8, 2013


I’m still not exactly sure why I started writing them. I wish I could say that I had some noble, romantic reason, but that would be a lie. It was more like a combination of frustration and distraction.

One night, I was trying to pray before I went to bed. I was really struggling with the fact that I was single while it seemed like most of my friends were happily married or dating. I decided that I would write a letter to my future wife (assuming she existed), just to pass the time and vent my frustration.

I didn’t have that much to say, mostly because I had no idea who I was writing to and no clue when she would get the letter. It was only one page, mostly to let my future wife know that I was thinking about her and praying for her.

A month or two later, I wrote another letter. Something cool started happening; writing the letters helped to keep me out of trouble because I wanted to be able to tell my future wife that I had been waiting for her and thinking of her since before we met.

Over the next three years, I continued writing the letters every few months. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I spent those years sitting at home waiting for God to deliver me a wife. I dated a few girls during that time, but I always had the letters in the back of my mind.

Whether I had just come home from a really great date or I was frustrated by disappointment, these letters helped to give me perspective. They were reminders of a plan bigger than the one I could see, and they helped me keep my heart and my mind set on the long run rather than just the excitement of the moment.

We live in a culture that feeds both men and women so many lies about what we’re worth and what life is all about. I knew that somewhere out there was a girl who was probably struggling with the same questions that I was, so I wanted to pray for her. It was okay that I didn’t know who she was, because I knew that God had known her from before all of time.

Twenty-two letters later, I asked Courtney to marry me. When I proposed, I gave her all of the letters I had written. We got engaged on October 1, 2011, because it was the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux and we had been praying the St. Therese novena together for our relationship. As our wedding date got closer, Courtney put all of the letters in a scrapbook.

A month before we got married, I was looking through the scrapbook. It wasn’t until then that I realized something amazing. I wrote the first letter, the one that was motivated by frustration and boredom, on October 1, 2007. Without knowing it, it would be exactly four years later that I would give those letters to Courtney.

I’ll never fully understand how God works. But I know that I can trust Him, and I can trust in His plan even when all my plans have fallen apart (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

While some of you are being chosen and set apart for the incredible call to the priesthood or religious life, most of us will be called to give our lives in the sacrament of marriage.

Don’t wait till you’re married to start preparing for your future husband or wife.Pray for them. Make small sacrifices offered as prayers to God for them. Or if you’re really bored, frustrated, or romantic, go ahead and start writing those letters. Just make sure you don’t include phrases like “I’ve been watching you..” There’s a thin line between romantic and scary.

If you could say one thing to your future spouse today, what would it be?


posted Aug 5, 2013, 10:55 AM by Unknown user

By  JULY 30, 2013


Yes, Mom . . .

Yes, I can . . .

Yes . . . I want ice cream.

Yes . . . I’m going to the movies.

Yes . . . I’ll be a superhero.

Yes . . . of course I want a new car – make it a batmobile!

Yes, I’ll try to pray.

Something happens when we say “yes.”

When I think about, some of the best things that I have experienced in life – I said, “yes” to. I said “yes” to being on a soccer team, I said “yes” to going on a mission trip, I said “yes” to a relationship with Christ.

I have seen over and over that one of the main reasons people feel isolated and don’t have the kind of friendships, relationships, or community they want in their lives is that they habitually say “no” to invitations and opportunities to be around people and interact with people. They say “no” so often and so consistently that it’s become a habit they don’t even know they have.

Spend a few minutes now, or next time you are driving or waiting in line, remembering some of the positive “yeses” in your life. Below are three different levels of “Yeses”:

  1. “Yesssss”: This yes is easy. Do you want ice cream? Would you like a raise? These yeses seem to be very natural and just happen automatically.
  2. “Yes”: This “yes” may be more challenging. This is saying yes to going to the gym, going to dinner with a group of people you might not know, and possibly dancing if it’s not your style.
  3. “Ye . . . s”: This yes is the hardest. These yeses are to the more difficult questions in life that will potentially affect the path you take.

There are different “yeses” in life. And, saying “yes” changes us. With all of our “yeses” in our life, we need to prayerfully discern what we are called to do.

Jesus invites us everyday into a deeper relationship with Him. How will you respond? Some days it’ll be the first kind of yes – easy and exciting. Other days it may be challenging to say “yes” but you know it’s what you want to say to God. And then there are those inevitable days when you can barely get the “yes” out. Regardless of which yes it is, responding to God with openness is a sure way to allow Him to do awesome things in your life.

Spend some time thinking about Mary’s openness to God’s invitation at the Annunciation. She was the first one who said “Yes” to Christ and because of it God did amazing things with her life and for the salvation of the whole world. Let’s remember her yes and imitate it in our own lives.

Question: What has God asked you to say yes to?


posted Aug 5, 2013, 10:50 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 5, 2013, 10:56 AM ]

By  JULY 22, 2013

Editor’s Note: This blog was written by both Brian and Courtney Kissinger.

Summer must be the perfect time for love, right?

From the beginning of time (or at least the past few decades), it’s a commonly known fact that summer is the ideal time for finding love. From that guy and girl duet song from Grease about “summer lovin’” to Katy Perry and Snoop-WhateverHisNewAnimalNameIs extolling the virtues of California Gurls (the misspelling is Katy’s fault, not ours), summer always seems to offer more exciting possibilities than the daily routine of the school year.

Could you even imagine an upbeat song about looking forward to anything in November?

Let’s face it, summer “flings” are popular. For some reason, the concept of meeting someone, rapidly falling in like, and then ending it after a month or two sounds like a great idea. By definition, a “fling” implies something is going to move forward with great force and then come to a quick, dramatic end. In the case of summer flings, that end is a heartbreak.

But heartbreak is the last thing we want to set up as a goal for the summer. Whether it’s your own heart breaking or the possibility of breaking someone else’s heart, a fling is settling for so much less than we deserve.

We’re made for long lasting, committed love, not a fling that leaves you burned at the end of a season. Even more than you need to protect you skin from the sun, Scripture calls us to guard our hearts:

With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life (Proverbs 4:23).

We don’t need to go looking for love, we don’t need to rush into romance, and we don’t need to worry about finding a crush before the school year starts. The truth is that love can surprise us at anytime.

On the most routine and expectedly boring of days, we can find ourselves encountering great love. God is love (1 John 4:16), and you can be sure that He wants you to be happy even more than you do.

The two of us met on a miserably cold day in February, and God’s perfect love showed up in a broken world on a quiet night in December. Enjoy this summer, and trust that God’s got a perfect plan for your life, even if you have to wait until after August to figure it out.


posted Aug 20, 2012, 4:25 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 5, 2013, 10:51 AM by Unknown user ]

By  AUGUST 15, 2011

About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?”

He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible Study with some of his Catholic friends.

“Well, first . . . ” I replied, “Mary did not ascend into heaven; the Blessed Virgin Mary wasassumed into heaven. Jesus ascended by His own power. Mary was taken up into heaven by God.” That little difference is a big difference, so I wanted to be sure he understood it.

Billy then replied, “Okay, fine . . . but it’s still not in the Bible. The Church made it up.”

This is where the conversation got really interesting.


Maybe Mary didn’t die. Maybe she’s living in Brazil . . . next door to Elvis. Some people point to the fact that only Elijah and Enoch are mentioned as being carried off to heaven in Scripture, and since Mary is not, then “it must not be true.”

Have you ever noticed that although the Acts of the Apostles is an incredibly detailed accurate account of Sts. Peter and Paul, we do not read of their deaths on the pages of Scripture? Everything we know of their deaths comes from early oral tradition. In fact, the Bible doesn’t say what happened to most of the disciples. The Bible is silent in this area. Many Evangelicals accept the witness of Church history that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome, that Paul was beheaded, etc. — even though Scripture does not record these events.

We know, from oral tradition, that Mary was taken into the care of St. John (the writer of the fourth gospel and the Book of Revelation) and went to live with him in Ephesus (where he was a Bishop). We know that she was sought out for her counsel and wisdom and that she was exalted and honored throughout the community. Early Church Tradition upholds these facts as true, as do historic and non-canonical writings.

What is different, though, is that we know where the bones of Sts. Peter and Paul and other disciples like Mary Magdalene are because the early Christians took care of them. There is no record of where the bones of Mary are. It seems a little odd that if there had been a body no one would have given her a proper burial or that her tomb would not have become a landmark, does it not?


Well, if the woman who God specifically chose to bring His Son into the world and raise Him is not in heaven . . . none of us have a shot.

Seriously, though, is there Scriptural backing for this teaching about the Assumption? Absolutely!

While it does not explicitly state, “Mary assumed into heaven” in the Bible, stop and take a look at the verses from Revelation, written by John, of visions that were seen:

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod… Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed . . .” – Revelation 11:1912:1-6, 10

This revelation is referring to Mary in heaven. Mary is often referred to as the new “Ark of the Covenant.”

Indiana Jones went searching for the Ark of the Old Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Law), a pot of manna (heavenly bread) and the staff of Aaron (symbol of Priesthood). You can read about the Ark – but not Indiana Jones – in Hebrews 9:4. The Ark was kept free from all defect and corruption, made from the finest most pure materials to God’s exact specifications.

As the Ark of the New Covenant, Mary carried Christ who is the Law, the Bread of Life, and the Royal High Priest. Her Immaculate Conception and her state as ever-Virgin kept her free from defect and sin, preserving her throughout her life, until her death where she was immediately assumed to preserve her from any bodily corruption on earth. Notice, too, in this passage from Revelation that we see the Ark (which is missing on earth) in heaven immediately preceding our vision of this woman crowned in stars and holding a baby.

Don’t forget – to whom did God give this vision (Revelation)? He imparted it to St. John, the one who was entrusted with caring for Our Mother, Mary (John 19:25-27) for the remainder of her days on earth prior to her assumption.

In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the universal Church. The teaching was not new – only now formally clarified. He affirmed that at the end of her time on earth, Mary experienced immediately the resurrection of the body that is promised to all faithful followers of Jesus.

Basically, since Mary was preserved from original sin by the unique gift of Christ’s grace, she was able to experience the immediate perfect union with her Son in heaven, never knowing, tasting or suffering from bodily corruption or decay (due to death) in any way.

Remember, as Christians we believe in the Resurrection of the Body. As the Papal encyclicalLumen Gentium (68) asserts, Mary’s assumption and heavenly presence preceded and foreshadows our own future glory (1 Corinthians 15). You might want to check out how the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it, too (CCC 966).

One of the things that sets us apart as Catholics from other Christian denominations is that we have a rich understanding of Mary and a tradition of giving her the honor she deserves. She can teach us a lot through her example of virtue and her special role within the Church. Pray with Mary and she will lead you into a far deeper relationship with Her Son than you could ever achieve by your own direction.

I’m reminded of that conversation with the teen every year around this Feast Day, only I no longer call that teen, Billy, my friend . . . now I also call him, Father Bill. He went looking for Mary and found her . . . in the Catholic Church.

Hail Mary!

1-5 of 5