Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today one of the articles had the following (emphasis mine):
During the synod on the Word of God, one of the memorable interventions was made by Salesian Father Pascual Chávez Villanueva, president of the Union of Superiors-General and Rector of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco. Father Pascual, whose Salesian Congregation has a special charism for working with young people, offered the Emmaus story as model of bringing the Word of God closer to the world of youth. He drew our attention to the fact that young people today share very few things with the two disciples on the road but perhaps nothing as much as the frustration of their dreams, the fatigue in their faith and the disenchantment in discipleship.
"Young people need a Church that meets them there where they are. Arriving to Emmaus, the disciples still did not recognize the person of Jesus. What Jesus was unable to do in accompanying them, conversing with them, interpreting the Word of God, he accomplished with the Eucharistic gesture. An education in faith which forgets or postpones the sacramental encounter of young people with Christ, is not a secure, efficient way to find him."
Though I'm already tired and scrambling to finish preparations for the young adult retreat this weekend and the youth retreat next weekend, these are priceless chances to meet the young people where they are.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Now, I look back to it from another perspective. We've seen horrific events at schools and colleges around the world. Now I look at it as one of those moments where I had to grow up a bit more. My world wasn't as safe as I thought it was.
What makes me pause, have every muscle tighten into a painful knot and a rock form in my stomach is the fear that something akin to it might happen at one of the many schools in the area here. We've had tragedies - near deaths, untimely deaths due to illness or crime. But they came one by one. They were often personal tragedies and rarely affected more than a small portion of our youth ministry as we have anywhere from 5-13 high schools feed into our ministry in any given year. In those smaller tragedies, I've gotten the early phone call telling me I am needed at the church, at the Catholic school, a public school counseling department. I go. I listen. I talk. I pray. Mostly, I feel inadequate. But we carry on with the ministry, with the pastoral care of those youth, with life.
I cannot fathom what it was like for the community at Columbine. I cannot fathom being the youth minister at one of those churches. Particularly the church that buried three youths that was mentioned in the Catholic Youth Ministry Blog. Should anyone who was a minister in the area ever read this, you have my utmost respect and most fervent prayers for your peace and those of the youth you ministered to and with during that time.
Maybe at some level the frustrations and fears of that time contributed to the matrix of experiences and decisions leading me into youth ministry. I don't know. I had not ever really thought about it before. I wish I would have had a youth ministry where I could share the concerns, find comfort in faith, and the pastoral care that I unknowingly craved.
For all the joy, all the statements I heartily agree to about how much fun my job is, the fact of the matter is that when push comes to shove, we have a difficult task. I would not have it any other way.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
- Launder the shroud cloth, the purple cloak, and the 'tear-away' robe of Jesus for our Living Way of the Cross
- Polish the script for the Way of the Cross (please don't scold, I know it should be done already)
- Do a few things for he National org I'm now on
- Write a letter of recommendation for a boy applying to be an animator at NCYC (this kid could be the next star at the Met - he's incredible)
- Pack for my weekend; pick up one or two more gifts to take with me
- Confirm costumes
- Send out the weekly parent email
- Remind people that a payment for our summer service trip is due next Wednesday
- Hunt down the kid who still owes me paperwork for the service trip
- Figure out suggestions on what our transitional deacon could do with the youth ministry and young adult ministry this summer