I recently spent a day in Cartagena, Columbia, and visited the church where St. Peter Claver is buried. In the square next to the church is a beautiful sculpture of Peter with one of the enslaved persons to whom he ministered. It was so moving to see the tender gaze of Peter on a young man in obvious pain. It made me want to reach out to those who suffer from oppression and the denial of their human dignity. I wanted to take their pain away. Thank you, St. Peter Claver!
Did you know there is a World Youth Day message and theme from the Holy Father every year - though there may not be an international gathering? Recently the Pope Francis chose the first of the beatitudes as the themes for the upcoming World Youth Days celebrations.
It is undeniable that this presidential election is different from any other recent elections. Many reasons are contributing to this difference such as the possibility of electing the first female president and the prospect of electing not a politician but a celebrity real estate tycoon. No matter who wins the election, he or she will be entering the office during a time or great unrest in our country and around the world. Perhaps this is why so many cannot decide who to vote for come November. There are groundbreaking numbers of people who still consider themselves as undecided voters including a large majority of young people known as the millennial generation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation plays an important role in the faith formation of many adolescents throughout the Catholic Church. It's a pivotal moment in a teenager's faith journey that provides a unique encounter with Jesus and the Church. How do you prepare young people for this important sacrament?
My wife and I are parents of three young adults. Each of our daughters loves their Catholic faith but their journeys were unique. One thing in common was that all of them engaged in summer mission experiences with our parish through Young Neighbors in Action. Looking back, it feels like their mission experience helped faith stick in their lives and helped them grow a faith that they could take with them into their college and young adult lives.