Franciscan Youth and Young Adults
Mission Statement of the YouFra (FY/YA) Commission of the United States
Inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi and guided by our OFS Rule (Art. 24) and General Constitutions (Art.96 & 97), our mission is to bring the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the youth and young adults of the United States of America. We are called to share this Franciscan way of life through prayer, formation, and social justice action with all youth whom we encounter.
We envision journeying with youth and young adults as they discern their purpose in life and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. After experiencing Franciscan fraternal life, these young people may desire to form a FY/YA community, and the OFS at all levels commits to support them.
The Regional YouFra (FY/YA) Team
Heather Cherniack, OFS
Heather Cherniack, OFS is a Secular Franciscan who was professed in 2015. Due to following her call and what life had to offer, she experienced her initial formation in the Florida Keys, New Hampshire, and New Orleans. She graduated from Loyola University – New Orleans in 2013 with a Masters in Pastoral Studies. Her outside interests are martial arts and she works for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Fr. Joe Powell, OFM
Fr. Joe Powell, OFM is a Franciscan Friar with Immaculate Conception Province and is currently the Parish Administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Derry, NH. Fr. Joe celebrated his Solemn Vows while at his first assignment at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Derry, NH. He was ordained a priest at St. Thomas in 2015 and is now returning after three years of various ministries with parishes in Canada.
For youth and young adults as you look around this webpage please know that this page is being update all of the time – but what really defines it is you! YouFra is driven by the youth and young adults that are a part of it. It is not a program where youth and young adults, show up, sit down and listen, to an older person give information. This program is for you to build, for you to have a safe place to discern how to build your faith. If you aren’t sure if this interests you keep looking and watching, come to some of our events. If this interests you please contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-408-1023.
For those professed Secular Franciscans who feel called to animate youth and young adults at a Fraternity level or just provide outreach to local youth and young adults, the Region is here to support you. Your first step is to speak to your Fraternity and register as a Fraternal Animator by completing this application. Your second step is to complete the National Animator Training while working with the Regional Team. You are not alone an we are here to help. We will send you supplemental materials as you complete the training that can be found on the National Website.
Our Regional YouFra (FY/YA) Saint
In this Region we have asked St Joan of Arc to pray for our cause. She was in her active ministry from the ages of 12-19. To find out more about St. Joan of Arc, click here:
Sometimes the most a person can do to support a ministry is to pray. If you would like to support this ministry through prayer please consider praying a novena nine days before January 6 (St Joan of Arc’s birthday) and May 30 (St Joan of Arc’s fear day) for the intention of ministering to youth and young adults. You can do this by praying the chaplet once each day. You can find instructions for praying the chaplet here.