Summer In Youth Ministry

School is out and summer is here! Please pray for our teens and young people, especially those who have recently graduated and are transitioning to the next chapter of their lives. Summer, although different, is no less busy than the school year in the world of youth ministry!

In today’s Gospel, we hear from Jesus that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Summer is one of my favorite times, because it’s an opportunity to spend real quality time with our teens—full days where I get to watch them do God’s will through service, kindness to their peers and through their openness to the Lord in their lives. So what do we do all summer?

Starting this Thursday, over 30 middle school and high school teens from our parish (that’s triple the teens we had last year!) will participate in Summer Stretch. At Summer Stretch, our goal is connection. We connect with the Lord through prayer and service, and we connect with one another by working and playing together. Our mornings are filled with prayer and service; our afternoons are filled with fun. We meet six Thursdays throughout the summer—look for us in our blue t-shirts—often doing our service at or near St. Peter’s!

On July 7th, 25 high school teens and adults will embark for Vandalia, Illinois, for St. Peter’s 24th Annual Workcamp Trip. This week of service is an opportunity for our teens to step outside their comfort zone and experience Christ’s love in a new way, through the quality, retreat-like programming and by sharing Christ’s love in serving the people of Vandalia. We are excited to be trying out a Catholic Workcamp this summer, and we are blessed that Father Steven will be joining us, for the entire week (including every trip to Dairy Queen!). This weekend is our final fundraiser of the year. Thank you for your generosity to our teens. Your contributions help make this trip more affordable!

At the end of July, a group of 12 teens and adults will spend the weekend at the University of St. Thomas for the Steubenville St. Paul Conference. This conference is rich in sacraments, praise and quality formation for our teens, as they learn more about the great love of God, the beauty of the Eucharist and how to answer God’s call for their life. Last summer, two of our teens stood up and publicly showed their openness to the call to the priesthood or religious life—what a way to do God’s will!

As we move into August, our Peer Ministers will gather for a two-day training, as we prepare for another school year. Teens are currently discerning peer ministry. Please pray for our teens that they will say “yes” to this call!

For all the ways you support our teens, thank you! May God’s will be done!

Blessings,

Elizabeth McCanna
Youth Minister

 

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