Photo by Cangjie6 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Blogger’s Note — This entry is inspired by an idea from Andi Cumbo-Floyd, an American writing mentor to whose newsletter I am subscribed. Having just finished a three-part blog entry series on books and reading, I wish now to shift the focus a bit. Before I go back to writing about movies and youth ministry and other topics, this piece can serve as a sort of interlude.

Dear MartYM,

At the outset I’ve always wondered . . . How come there are so few of you? Especially in youth ministry, I noticed. Those in this field probably think that you’re out of place with them, that you’re dispensable, that you have no contribution at all.

You know what? If there is “strength in numbers,” you (the few and the proud) would already have been long since hospitalized — due to fatigue and weakness.

But it is not only that kind of strength, the physical one. Nor, on the other hand, is it merely engaging in a siege mentality, closing ranks with each other, to draw strength and comfort from each other. . . . So what can it be then?

It is really rather the innate strength and beauty of the very thing you are doing, the very pursuit you are engaged in: writing. That is indeed something which no one can contest or question, something which no force can weaken or diminish.

I don’t lament the pathetic situation; as I said I’m just wondering.

Never mind. It’s more their loss, perhaps, not yours. If they only know what they’re missing. And they don’t know that youth ministry will be the better for it with the presence of the likes of you.

Writers of the world — including you, yes you — unite! For the sake of sanity and survival in this cruel world of ours, wield your mighty keyboards, pens, and pencils. Don’t drop your pen, don’t smash your keyboard, don’t you ever give up.

Indeed it’s good to know that you are a writer. Keep it up.

Truly yours,


MartYM or Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB, SThD is a professor of Youth Ministry. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.

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