Friday, December 12, 2008


Whew! Things have somewhat slowed down around here. The biggest challenge I have with my dual position in Youth and Campus Ministry is that I always feel that I could give more to one or the other. Also, just when one slows down the other one amps up or I feel like I can give more time and energy to one of my ministries. I just don't think churches should have "part time" positions. What a joke! We all know that it is more than "part time."
This however is not what I wanted to reflect on. I read my friend Kim's blog the other day. I long to have that type of experience with my youth. I just wish they would be excited about coming to church or at least want to come rather than being forced to come by their parents. Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative that their parents are supporting me in this ministry but I would love it if it would come from the young people. The very day I read that post I had a high school student visit my office. In the two and a half years I have been here a high school student has never just dropped in! They had a snow day here and he came to noon Mass. This student in particular always gives me hope. He is very mature and intelligent for his age. He also has a great interest in all things Catholic. I sometimes feel sorry for him when we meet as a group since he is far above the other young people in his understanding and knowledge of the Catholic Faith, he must get bored.
On our regular Wednesday gathering I decided that since our parish was offering a communal Penance Service that our activity for the evening would be to attend as a group. The week prior we had discussed the sacrament of Reconciliation and the celebration of God's forgiveness of our sins through this sacrament. I know that for many Catholic this is often a touchy subject. I would say the majority of Catholics do not receive this Sacrament on a regular basis. Yours truly hadn't received it in about 2 1/2 years. I was prepared to be let down. I had reminded the parents that this would be our activity for the evening and invited them to join their son or daughter at the service. I truly expected that either a very small amount of young people would attend or that they would come (because mom and dad made them) and sit their sulking. Well, about 13 of my regular 16 showed up. About 1/4 came with their families and all but one chose to receive the sacrament. It was a really beautiful celebration. I asked myself why I didn't receive this sacrament more often. I found it renewing that my young people were open to this event. In face afterwards a group of girls gathered in my office just to talk about some stuff (again a first).
As with most things in my life I must learn to have patience and to trust that things will happen in God's time. All I can do is keep offering, trying, praying, and ministering to all I meet.

1 comment:

Kimbrel said...

That's awesome about the one kid who stopped by - and I am sure you do - but make sure he knows he can do that. In fact, put it out there that you have a stash of candy on hand for any kid who just randomly stops by. Make it game almost, "spontantious drive-by's" or something catchy like that.
They will come. They just have to feel overly encouraged. I know you know this.. so I will stop blabbing.. but one more thing.. random goofy toys and gadgets in your office help too!
Keep the Spirit alive in yourself!