Susan is the Project Coordinator for Just5Days and YouthLeader programs. She also writes for Youth Ministry Access, works in marketing for the Center, and has given presentations at diocesan and national conferences, including NCCYM, NCYC, and the LA Religious Education Congress. She holds a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University ...New Orleans and a Certificate in Youth Ministry from the Center for Ministry Development. More

An Urgent Request from Pope Francis: September 1 to be World Day of Prayer for Creation [Prayer Meditation with Youth]

An Urgent Request from Pope Francis: September 1 to be World Day of Prayer for Creation [Prayer Meditation with Youth]

As an artist, I am often inspired to try and imitate or reproduce the beauty I see in nature. With my paint brush, I can sweep colors of paint across a canvas to try and portray the splendor of a brilliant pink, yellow, orange, and purple sunset. Yet, try as I might, my paintings never fully capture the magnificence of the actual sunset. My artistic attempts cannot duplicate the real thing. It’s like traveling to a stunning location and wanting to freeze the moment in a photograph. A picture, even taken with the most expensive camera, still is not as satisfying as being at the location yourself. Of course this begs the question, does art imitate life or does life imitate art? For those who believe in a God of “All Creation,” the answer is always art imitates life. God is the original master or "artist" and humankind might try to replicate the original, but we cannot fully duplicate the master's handiwork. All the natural beauty and mystery that surround us is something we as humans cannot recreate. I can paint a sunset but I cannot originate one. But I can however, look upon a sunset with reverence and honor for the incredible gift of the fleeting beauty it offers. I can stand before a sunset and feel amazed in knowing that I am part of all that is God’s glorious creation. It is humbling to consider that the care of all this mystery and magnificence has been entrusted to us. Our vocation from God is to care for the very creation that inspires us.

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Youth are Eager to Be Leaders

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The Challenge to Care for Our Common Home

As I write today, it is pouring rain and once again my neighborhood is under a flash flood watch. While this might be normal for some parts of the world, I live in a place that proudly boasts 300 days of sunshine per year. The Colorado Mountains are known for clean air, blue skies and plenty of sunshine and those of us who live here love to get outside and hike, bike, and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

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