Youth Group Moves Online

Experiencing Religious Education at Home


Mara Bosworth

Sarah Finneran presenting the bible verse of the day to her youth group viewers.

Along with restaurants, stores and many other businesses closing, churches are also shut down due to COVID-19. Youth Minister Ms. Sarah Finneran of Saint Charles Borromeo felt like it was her duty to continue religious education through live streams she puts on in the safety of her home.
“I love the kids and these times can feel very isolating, so I wanted to create a space where they could continue to learn and grow not only in holiness but also in relationships with one another,” Ms. Finneran said. “So this way, when youth group resumes we can jump right back in where we left off.”
These live streams take place on Facebook with about 15-20 people joining each time. Ms. Finneran starts off with a prayer\; she takes intentions from the viewers. She then follows up with a story about a saint, they research about their life and attributions to the Church. After that, they do some sort of teaching like Bible study or Catholic apologetics. They finish up with a prayer and whatever questions the viewers have.
“I try to keep a loose structure when doing my teachings,” Ms. Finneran said. “I love when we get questions because I think that it makes the live events more like a conversation and less like I am teaching.”
Even though Ms. Finneran enjoys the live streams, she has many ideas about how to improve them moving forward. She is currently doing these teachings on Sunday and Thursday but is wanting to have another day during the week for questions only. She wants to expand her platforms to Instagram and Zoom.
“Zoom meetings, going forward, will be weekly check-ins so that I can encourage the teens throughout the week to join the lives,” Ms. Finneran said. “I have gone at a slower pace getting the live streams set up because I want to be able to pick up where we left off at youth group.”

Mara Bosworth
Sarah and Sean Finneran presenting the day’s activity on live stream.

Ms. Finneran also thinks that these live streams have exposed new people to the Church. Many people have watched the live streams after they end and new viewers come in every day. She believes these times have opened her students up for more reflection and knowledge about God due to this isolation.
“This time, although not ideal, I think, has led to an influx of knowledge and growth for people who are choosing to take advantage of all that is being offered at St. Charles,” Ms. Finneran said. “ I think some are using this time, when everything else is stripped away, to really focus on God”
Ms. Finneran hopes that more people will join the streams to continue their knowledge and information about God. St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church offers a morning talk show at 10 a.m. on Mondays through Friday, daily mass on Monday through Sunday, and Rosary every Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, visit St. Borromeo Catholic Church’s website.