From the desk of Fr Steve...
A couple of weeks ago, 4 young adults from our parish went to Canandaigua, New York where the Redemptorists have a retreat house. We met there for a full week with other young adults and Redemptorists from around North America to DIALOGUE about what it means to be a young adult in the Catholic Church and how we, as Redemptorists, can work with them in their faith journey. There were about 60 of us in all, and each day we had large group presentations, small group sharing, and young adult faith witnesses. All in all, it was a very good week with a lot of sharing and a lot of hope for our future as Redemptorists.
It was just the kind of week I had hoped for, and something I think we can build on here in the parish. I say that because, as a priest and Redemptorist, I see the makeup of our parish, and the church in general, as a mostly aging group. Unless we really reach out to young people with a clear and vibrant message we will lose them. They quit going to church, they join other denominations, they quit praying. This is alarming, but certainly not all their fault. The world pulls people away from God at every turn and unless we stay focused and continue to teach and preach Jesus Christ in a dynamic way we may lose them for good.
Here in the parish I hoped to reach out to our young adults and try and build something that will be life giving for all involved. I also want to reach out to our youth of the parish, those 13-18 year olds. Starting Sunday September, 9 I would like for our youth of this age to gather together and continue to build a faith base that will help them in the future. I would like to meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday after the 11am mass in our youth room. When we meet, I hope to be able to have fun together, teach about the faith, and do some outreach to the larger community. I was really impressed with the Kajinga weekend and all of the work that went into that and I want to continue to build off of that. Some of our adults and young adults were involved and we want to thank them for all that they do in helping to strengthen the faith and leadership of our young.
As you know, it takes a village to raise a child, and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, we hope to continue this long tradition here at the ROCK. Over the years, there has been so much that has been done in this area, and we owe it to this generation to continue that cause. Thanks for your prayers and attention in this regard.