It was impressive enough that I met young men who had served with NET Ministries as seminarians when I was rector in Rome. But their stock went up even higher when I saw them in action when I was Archbishop of Milwaukee. Now I’m trying to get them here in New York. They are the ‘new evangelization’ on steroids! I thank God for them.
I was blessed to work with NET Ministries for more than a decade as the President of their Board of Directors and I know firsthand the wonderful way that NET trains young men and women to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. It is this intimacy with Christ that the NET teams bring to the young people of our nation, so that they, too, might form that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, NET Ministries has expanded into Australia and Canada. This is a true sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the countless number of graces that are poured out on NET Ministries each year. I have been blessed to have NET teams in several of the dioceses where I’ve worked, and I’m confident that their ministries will serve and continue to serve the young Church far into the future.
What a joy and privilege it has been to welcome the ministry of the NET teams into the life of our Local Church! Year in and year out they have come into our diocese spreading the message of the Gospel in a way that is powerful, genuine, and relevant. Their work is rooted in a deep devotion and love for Jesus and His Church and it has borne much fruit in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard. These young people do not view themselves as merely the ‘future’ of the Church – they know that they are the Church and their ministry and witness seeks to help other young people come to that same realization.
It is with great joy each year that I welcome the National Evangelization Teams to spend time with the youth of our diocese. Our youth have been blessed to have the NET teams catechize and teach them in a variety of settings. They have led retreats at parishes, diocesan events, and within our Catholic schools. The young men and women who travel across the country spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ are truly worthy of praise. They exemplify the mission of NET Ministries as they share their own personal faith stories, invite youth to live the Gospel mandate of service, and challenge them to listen for God’s call in their own lives. NET Ministries has made a difference in the lives of our young people.
Congratulations to NET Ministries on their 30th anniversary of proclaiming the Gospel to young Catholics. Many young people today are searching for meaning in their lives, and the retreats that you direct help them to find this meaning in Jesus Christ through the Church. These youths are turned on with fire to the Lord and then are anxious to share the discovery with their peers. This is the way we are going to change the world, and NET Ministries is having an impact. I see that among the youth in my own Diocese of Portland, Maine. Thank you for your ministry and commitment to the Church.
Congratulations to you and your NET teams as you near 30 years of service to young Catholics throughout the United States. I am especially grateful for your 16 years of retreats in the Diocese of Colorado Springs. NET has touched the lives of almost 9,000 young men and women in central Colorado. You have responded beautifully to Blessed John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization, and I pray that the Lord will sustain you and help your ministry grow in the years to come. There are so many more young people who need to experience the love of God that your ministry brings. Thank you and God bless you for all that you do!
NET Ministries has been a source of many blessings in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Not only has their ministry in our parishes and schools brought young people into a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus, but some of those same young people from our archdiocese have joined the National Evangelization Teams themselves to give back what they received. I particularly appreciate that NET works within our existing parish and school structures to help those places become more vibrant faith communities. NET has been both a light of the new evangelization and an example of young people becoming co-workers in the Lord’s vineyard as lay ministers.