The St. Mary, Oxford/St. Peter, Cosgrove youth group kicked off the Year of Faith with a parish picnic on Sunday, Oct 14. Rain did not stop these 32 youth from celebrating and raising money for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) trip in November 2013.
The group decided to ask questions among the guests about their faith and distribute Year of Faith bookmarks from the Davenport Diocese. Here are a few responses:
Where did your faith come from?
Mary Lou Schlesselman: “Faith comes from God and within.”
Pam Still: “Faith came to me through my husband.”
Don Saxton said, “I was born into my faith from my parents and their parents; their parents passed it on.”
What can you do to help others in their faith life and how can you help others return to the Church?
Father Ed Dunn replied, “We can pray that the Holy Spirit can open your heart.”
Maricarla Rohret: “By helping others, getting out and spreading the Word of God yourself.”
Richard Voss said, “Become serious about your faith.”
Pam Still said, “Attend church, participate in outreach activities with others and share your faith.”
How can you help others in their faith life, and how can you help others return to the Church?
Kathy Brack: “I’m a religious ed teacher for seventh grade; the class is focused on helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus though prayer.”
David Francis: “Invite youths to church and youth group and help them to open their heart.”
Kathy Brack, added: “Being pastoral associate for St. Mary Parish with Fr. Dunn and Deacon (David) Montgomery and planning special activities to help people grow in their faith.”
Don Saxton: “By opening dialogue and conversations.”
Why do you think Pope Benedict declared this “The Year of Faith?
Sharon Helt said, “To deepen our faith; to learn more about God.”
Mary Lou Schlesselman: “It’s a good time to renew our faith.”
Bridgette Leeney said: “Because I think we need it — everyone needs it.”
Fr. Dunn believes “Pope Benedict is concerned about Catholics having drifted away from the Church.”
Can this Year of Faith help us grow in faith through regular daily prayer, learn to worship wholeheartedly, help serve the poor and marginalized and be a witness to others?
Doreen Francis: “It helps us to become more aware and to do these things. It helps us become more diligent.”
Michelle Montgomery, director of religious education for high school youths, youth minister and confirmation class coordinator: “Yes, I feel this is a great opportunity to take time to reconnect, to grow more deeply in our relationship with Jesus and others. A good, strong prayer life is shown in you by your words, actions and deeds. Then the outreach to others comes naturally because Christ is a part of you. This helps you to really understand worship so that you can worship with all your body, soul and mind. This gives you a sense of completeness and fulfillment. It’s more than attendance at Mass: it’s more than gathering. It’s opening yourselves to the presences of Christ in your midst.”