NeXt Level

What Is NeXt Level?

NeXt Level, a project funded by the Lilly Endowment, is a transformative experience for parishes focused on empowering youth, developing intergenerational relationships, and living out the gospel through youth-led parish-wide campaigns rooted in the Catholic tradition of service and justice. Currently, NeXt Level has 12 parish participants.

NeXt Level provides youth, their mentors, and parish staff with a series of social gatherings, interactive retreats, a weeklong overnight service immersion experience, and peer learning opportunities to support their leadership development, spiritual growth, and deeper understanding of faith in action. Supported by their mentors and parish staff, the youth will design and implement a parish-wide passion project that responds to a need in their community. Examples of their projects include: education and advocacy for immigrants, education and awareness on teen mental health, dialogue and advocacy for racial justice, response to food insecurity, and support for individuals with disabilities.

Youth participation in NeXt Level is invaluable to their parishes, and to the church at large! As Pope Francis said at World Youth Day in Panama, “Dear young people, you are not the future but the now of God.”

If you or your parish are interested in finding out more about becoming a NeXt Level parish, please contact Maggie Smith.

Participating Parishes:


Important Dates for 2021:

MLK Peer Learning Day January 18, 2021 | Virtual

Ignition Retreat April 24, 2021 | Location, TBD

Level Up Experiences July 25 – 31, 2021 & August 8 – 14, 2021 | St. James Retreat House, Trenton, NJ


NeXt Level Advisory Council

NeXt Level has an advisory council that is comprised of a distinguished group of national experts and practitioners who care deeply about young people their faith practice, and the future of our Church. The council members attend an annual conference where they provide ongoing programmatic counsel and feedback. Read more about the advisory council members.