Youth Ministry

Here you will find many exciting opportunities the youth of the parish have to become involved in youth ministry, share their faith, and meet new friends.

Middle School - Grades 6-8

Holy Spirit Parish youth members, grades 6-12, are invited to participate in all youth ministry opportunities offered in the parish.

Opportunities include:

Serve and Slide - A summer service event serving a local human service/non-profit agency, followed by a one-day trip to Waterloo’s Lost Island Water Park.

Citywide Fall 8th Grade Retreat – “Place in This World!” - Typically held in mid-October, St. Anthony Church’s Youth Formation programorganizes this citywide retreat at Camp Albrecht Acres, Sherrill, IA.

Archdiocese of Dubuque Middle School Youth Jam - This annual fall Archdiocesan-wide middle school event includes dinner, hands-on activities, prayer, games and Mass! Youth Jam is held at Blessed Maria Assunta Catholic Middle School, Waterloo.

TOTUS TUUS - The Totus Tuus parish summer catechetical program, a week-long “parish mission” for Catholic youth in the 1st through 12th grades, is dedicated to proclamation of the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, apologetics, Christian witness, the sacraments, Marian devotion, and Eucharistic worship. Totus Tuus accomplishes this by taking college students and seminarians to engage parish youth with skits, songs, games and inspiring, interactive teaching. Totus Tuus instructs young people in the basic tenets of the Catholic faith to cultivate both a firm intellectual grounding and a solid personal relationship with Christ. Totus Tuus demonstrates that one can be a faithful, practicing Catholic and still have fun!

 For more information about the our youth ministry programs, please contact the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at the parish office.

High School - Grades 9 to 12

All youth in grades 9-12 are invited to youth events held throughout the year. These events and activities include a combination of social, service, spiritual growth and much more!

Events/Opportunities include:

Mardi Gras Dinner and Auction Benefit - In 2014, the Mardi Gras Dinner tradition began to bring our spiritual family together to recognize the accomplishments of our young parishioners.  The event benefits the larger aspects of our Youth Formation program – the National Catholic Youth Conference and Dubuque High School Summer Service Days. This annual event celebrates our young parishioners, specifically those in middle and high school.  The event features a catered meal, a limited grid raffle and live auction.  The 2017 Mardi Gras netted over $7,300.00!

Dubuque High School Summer Service Days - A service immersion trip is a combination of doing service work for our brothers and sisters in need, sharing prayer and discussing Catholic Social Teachings, learning more about our community and parish all while having a fun and building community among peers and adults!  Since 2014, our parish high school youth chose to stay home to serve the greater Dubuque area and our parish community.  Youth enjoy this experience so much, we plan to serve the greater Dubuque and parish communities summer 2018!  Dates to be announced winter 2018.

National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) - NCYC is an exciting, biennial, three-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The conference is held at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN. Typically, the conference is held in odd-numbered years and the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. In 2017, the Archdiocese of Dubuque was the largest diocese represented! Over 1,800 youth and adults attended, with sixteen (16) youth and nine (9) adults represented Holy Spirit Parish. Since 2007 approximately 80 youth and adults have participated in NCYC!


Here are a few testimonies from 2017 participants:

  • “NCYC was a powerful experience for teens and adults!  It was promising to see so many teens willing to live their faith!”  Jolene Belken, Adult Leader
  • "When tragedy occurs in the world or in our own personal lives, we often find ourselves questioning why God would allow such things to happen.  An NCYC speaker reminded me that God never promised things in this life would be easy, but He did promise He would always be with us, every step of the way!” Jenny Daughetee, Adult Leader
  • “Watching the youth around the U.S. bond and grow as proud followers of Christ was spiritually fulfilling. They are our future and they are awesome!”  Kim Schmidt, Adult Leader

Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) - 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the TEC program in the archdiocese.  Since 1968, the Archdiocese of Dubuque has hosted TEC weekends at various locations across the diocese.  To date, over 550-plus TEC weekends have been conducted, impacting thousands of Archdiocesan high school seniors for over 48 years!  TEC is a three-day Catholic retreat experience open to all high school seniors. The weekend begins late on Saturday morning and ends late Monday afternoon.  Cost is $75.00/candidate which includes housing, meals and program fee.  To register online, click

Citywide XLT (Exalt!) - An evening of Eucharistic Adoration, inspirational speaker, community, praise and worship music geared for high school students.  However, all are welcome! Come check it out!  Bring a friend and meet NEW friends!

Upcoming XLT Evenings:

  • TBA

 For more information about any of the above groups and events, please contact the Director of Youth Ministry at the parish office.