PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: Encourage our young people

Our parish magazine this autumn season highlights some of the ways in which we really celebrate the gift that our young people are in the household of faith.

Some have had a truly awesome and memorable experience with the University of Notre Dame’s Vision program for Catholic youth. Those being signed and sealed with our prayers at Confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit carry with them the hope of their being a real presence and blessing among us, especially at weekend worship and Mass.
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So many young people seem to be trying, pushing and even struggling to achieve and make a mark to be successful in the areas of their busy lives. That’s good, but some seem not to know or have clear goals or anchors with which to attach their efforts and energy.

It’s important for all of us to encourage and even inspire our wonderful teens and young adults to keep up the struggle and push for the higher goals and blessed trophies of faith. Sometimes, a young is ridiculed for being a practicing and genuine Catholic; our affirmation will win out over attempts to put them down. Tell that kid to remember nobody liked or thought much of the artist Van Gogh’s paintings, now the world admires his work.

If any Catholic/Christian community of faithful people is going to have a future, then our young people must be recognized and appreciated. They are the future.

There is in God’s beautiful word the psalm that sings about children and young people, that they are “like olive plants gathered around the table.”

These are tough times for young people to hold on and get to enjoy the gift of a faith that is put into practice, especially on the weekend. Current lifestyles, family schedules, marriages that are broken, the competition of high-tech gadgets and trash entertainment create a frantic and frenzied life.

But without the higher goals, the anchor of the Lord’s presence and God’s spirit dwelling in a young person’s heart and soul, that frantic and complex life can lead to harmful and hurtful things.

We hold great hopes and we pin on the young people of our parish household many good wishes and prayers for their spiritual treasures as well as their goals for their many seasons and years to come.