Monday, June 8, 2009


Wednesday coming back to the parish after my day away there was an unusual amount of phone messages on the machine. Fearing that something happened I listened to the endless queue of names and numbers all of which could be handled in the morning. One in particular was more interesting than the rest however.

A young man said that he was seriously considering the priesthood and wanted to talk. Of course his message rushed to the top of the return list. We made arrangements to meet for coffee the Nervous Dog, a coffee house that advertises on the back of our bulletin. It was enjoyable for me to meet with a young man who is so on fire for the faith. It was one of those days that there was enough work in the office to last a couple of days but then again, this is part of the “vocational work” that needs to be done and needs to be attended to.

I would have never imagined that being a priest – or rather a pastor – or more correctly an administrator - would involved so much paperwork and sometimes it can become like walking through muck, slowing you down and distracting you from your goals. It is energizing to talk to someone who is on fire and idealistic (and who can carry on an intelligent and informed conversation about the faith.)

I think many of our youth are on fire for faith and spirituality but are not as self confident, driven, and motivated as this young man. I wish there was some better way to harness their power and freshness. They are not the future of the Church, they ARE the Church and they could refresh and refocus even those among us who are already so devoted to the faith.

Be bold – live boldly – be confident young folk. You are Church! Have faith and express it. Be open and learn. This gift is passed on to you. Prepare it for the next generation to whom you will pass it on.


Anonymous said...

"I think many of our youth are on fire for faith and spirituality ..."

If only these fervent, "practicing Catholic" young people could more easily find each other to nuture and encourage themselves in their faith. My son was blessed to find a good group in college, but in grade school, high school, "youth group" and youth retreats, sincere faith-sharing was not done. In fact, he hated the youth "retreats" because they (1) focused more on entertainment than on serious growth in the faith and (2)the same cliques that were present among his peers carried over into these gatherings, making him feel like an outsider. The answer, I think, is to start in preschool, teaching the kids to help each other and value each other (including their faults), so that they can develop that trust which will ultimately lead to real friendship and faith-sharing.

MJ said...

You know this post sounds like a great begining to a homily. What do you think? ;)
I agree with anon. most high school "youth groups" are more about entertainment than faith sharing and spiritual growth. This does not give teens attending public schools much opportunity to share or talk about their faith unless they form their own groups. Even in some Catholic schools some religion courses are "fluff", depending on the teacher and don't get into history, doctrine etc.