Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Column for the bulletin

Fr. Mike is away on retreat this week, so I have been asked to write the bulletin column. How exciting (well, for me, at least)! It gives me the chance to write about some recent, uplifting events concerning our youth. First of all, Sunday night youth group has been incredibly fruitful this year, thanks be to God. We have a solid and committed team of teens and adult core group members who have worked very hard to plan and lead our weekly meetings. And, the response of our great high school teens has been staggering: quality (they really are good kids) and quantity (about 40 teens a week)!! God is very good.

A few weeks ago, many of our youth braved the cold and wet conditions on January 22 to participate in the March for Life. Some of us went downtown together from St. Andrew’s; the majority went with their high schools. It was a long afternoon in frigid weather. And yet, our teens marched from the Mall to the Supreme Court, and prayed a rosary for life on the bus ride home. Inspiring!

Last weekend, 15 (12 teens, 3 adults) of us participated in the Mount 2007 retreat. Over 1,500 other teens came to this Eucharistic festival in Emmitsburg from all over the country. It is an enjoyable weekend, but rather tough on the teens. They sit through many long but illuminating talks on a hard floor, and sleep on the floor at night. As we drove into the retreat, I told them they would be uncomfortable at times, and asked them for their patience. As we drove home, I let them know how proud and impressed I was with their patience and openness to the retreat. They didn’t complain once (that I heard), and had a great weekend!

At the closing Mass of the retreat, a priest from the Mount asked all of those young men and women who are at least considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life to stand. This is commonly known as a “vocations call”. Many, many kids stood, including two boys from St. Andrew’s! It takes a lot of courage for any teen to stand up in front of his/her peers and acknowledge an openness to a religious vocation. Awesome job, guys!

Please pray every day that young men and women from our parish will hear God’s Call – and He is calling some of them - to priesthood and religious life. And, once they hear the Call, I have great confidence that our extraordinary teens will respond generously. As you can tell, they have done it so much already.

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