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NET Ministries was founded in the United States and is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. NET's roots go back to the St. Paul Catholic Youth Center (CYC) which offered a variety of programs from 1939 to 1989.
In 1980 NET's founder, Mark Berchem, through CYC organized eighteen high school youth retreats around southern Minnesota. Young adults traveled in a van giving these retreats over a three-week period in January. The following January three teams of youth were sent to Winona, Minnesota, Fargo, North Dakota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1981 these missions extended to a full year commitment. In 1982 the acronym NET (standing for National Evangelization Team) became name of this movement, inspired by Mark 1:17 and Luke 5:4.
NET in other countries
In 1988, NET Ministries expanded to Australia, and to Canada in 1994. NET Australia and NET Canada are now separate organizations. In 2004, NET Uganda started as an offshoot of NET Australia, and NET Canada started a sister organization in Ireland. NET Scotland is currently run through NET USA.
Each year, around 180 young Catholics from ages 18–28 are accepted to be "netters" for the year. After a four week training, they are divided into around sixteen teams of 8-15 members. Each team is either a "retreat team" or a "discipleship team." Retreat teams travel around the United States in a van with a trailer, giving retreats and parishes and schools. Discipleship teams are based at a parish or school and stay there the entire year.
- Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens
- Catholic spirituality
- Fellowship of Catholic University Students
- Life Teen
- Universal call to holiness
- Vocational Discernment in the Catholic Church
- World Youth Day