This week's column was written by our Associate Pastor, Fr. Sean Magaldi.
As I got into the car, I immediately started to regret my decision. I was trying to think of any excuse I could come up with to back out of my promise. I was on my way to join my cousins at a high school youth group at a neighboring parish. My aunt had spent the last few weeks telling my mother and I that I “need to attend.” In a moment of weakness, I promised my mother that I would go once to try it out. We arrived at the parish, and I exited the car. I said goodbye to my mother and walked down the stairs into the basement of the parish.
My cousins had not yet arrived and I quietly sat down as far away from everyone else. The youth ministers greeted me as well as some of the other members of the group. Eventually, my cousins arrived and shortly after that we began the meeting. No more than five minutes in, the youth ministers announced that they would not be returning at the end of the year. The rest of the group began to cry and beg for them to stay and not leave. Understandably, that was the last time I ever went to a youth group, that is until I arrived at St. Patrick’s.
I have been working very closely with Theresa LoCascio, our youth minister, for the last two years. This year we will be implementing Life Teen, an international program that provides resources for youth ministers, teenagers, and their parents. The mission of Life Teen is to, “Lead teens closer to Christ.” This is done through relational ministry and emphasis on the Eucharist, both at Mass and at Adoration.
The beginning of June, Michael Clauberg, Life Teen’s Area Contact for Long Island, came to the Parish Council to discuss Life Teen and how to implement it at St. Patrick’s. Why do I bring this up? Well, we need your help. We live in an increasingly secular society in which God and prayer are not part of people’s everyday lives. As suicide rates and drug use increase among teens, we as Catholic’s know that Jesus Christ provides us our hope and our purpose. He is the fulfillment of all our desires and our goal is to lead the teens of St. Patrick’s closer to Him.
How can you help? First and foremost we need your prayers. Please pray for Theresa and me. Please pray for those who help us. Please pray for the teens of our parish and their parents. Please pray that more people volunteer to help.
Second, for those who have time to offer, there are two ways you can volunteer. First is as a Core Member. Core Members are weekly Mass attendees 18-years or older. We need males and females in different stages of life. You don’t need to be young, but you do need to be willing to come to our Life Night meetings throughout the year. If you are not able to come to our meetings, but are able to help once and a while, you may want to become part of our Life Support. Life Support helps in various ways including setting up for meetings, helping with transportation, etc. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theresa and I thank you so much for your prayers and support. St. Patrick’s is one of the most generous parishes I have ever been a part of. God has tremendous things planned for us and I’m so grateful and humbled that He called me to serve in this wonderful parish. There will be updates throughout the summer on our plans so keep your eyes out. Although my first experience with youth ministry was “different,” I have seen the impact it can have on another’s life. I just officiated my cousin’s wedding. He married a girl he met at the very youth group I mentioned before. Thank you for your time, and please be assured of our prayers for all of you.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Sean MagaldiBACK TO LIST