Two Sundays ago, Deacon Ricardo and I started meeting with our youth group. As you all already know, I will take charge of our youth group meetings with the help of Deacon Ricardo until we hire a new youth minister. I am hoping for your continued support and prayers for our younger brothers and sisters. This truly is an exciting time for them as they discover more and more who they are, not only as persons living in our society, but also as sons and daughters of God who belong to the Christian community.
After the youth group meeting, I was reflecting about the events of the day and I thought I was going to be tired because of the added activity for that Sunday (youth group meeting). But I found myself excited with enough energy to play volleyball! I realized that I really miss youth ministry – I remember how it used to give me energy and enthusiasm about living my life as a servant of God and I believe it still does.
When I was in high school, I used to be a part of a youth community in our parish where teens were given the opportunity to give retreats and share their faith experiences to fellow teens. We were even sent on outreach missions to give the retreats to the teens of other parishes as well. It was a wonderful experience! I can say that it was in that community where my vocation to the priestly life really grew and that is the reason why I believe in the importance of the youth group in a parish.
I am hoping to build a youth community in our parish – not just a youth program, but a community of the young where our younger brothers and sisters can find themselves at home with each other – being friends and growing together as children of God. Please continue to encourage your children (sixth grade to fourth year high school) to attend our youth group meetings. I can testify to the wonderful blessings that such a community can bring to a person’s life.
To my younger brothers and sisters, to the teens of our parish community, let us together build a community. See you all at our next youth group meeting!
In Christ, Fr. Maro