The Youth of the Church

One Sunday afternoon after the 3:30 Mass a lady came up to me and asked, “How can you best minister to the children?”  To be very honest, I didn’t know what to say then.

Teaching children may not be easy.  However, I always start by loving them and not being afraid of them.  Some teachers feel intimidated by the young people because they have the idea that every teacher must be an expert in order to reach them and help them.  The philosophy is false.  While there are teachers to whom God has given special gifts for working with young people, this doesn’t mean that the average teacher must sit on the sidelines.  If you’re sincere, loving and real, they’ll respect you; and if you listen to them, they will listen to you.  Young people are looking for reality, so be a real person, not a counterfeit teenager or a child.  Act like a mature adult and they will accept you; imitate them and they may laugh at you.

Learn to listen.  Even their criticisms are foolish and odd, listen to the youth patiently and try to be positive.  This doesn’t mean you always have to agree with them, but it does mean you disagree in a positive manner, accepting whatever good points you can.  Young people feel good just because they’ve had the opportunity to get something off their mind.   An open ear and an open heart will go a long way toward building a solid youth ministry in a church.

I pray for our young people by name.  You will be amazed at what God will do.  Most of the altar servers and the church choir ‘SanKtum” attended Sunday School.  Everything in the youth program must point toward spiritual ends.  Give them practical knowledge of the Bible.  Where else can they get it?  Our parish has an exciting atmosphere in which the youth can mature, discover, and develop their gifts, and grow into a well-balanced adults physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually.

Our parish priest, Rev. Msgr. Odiver is the youth director, and he doesn’t look upon it as wasted time.  He keeps in touch with what’s going on in school among our scholars and be sure to give recognition when they achieve something special and worthwhile.  He is investing in the youth who are the future in the Church and in the country as well.  When you touch a young person, you touch a whole family.

I wish the priests will keep the youth in mind when they prepare for the Lord’s Day.  It’s good to remember them in the pastoral prayer during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and there’s spiritual food for them in each message.

Often the most heartbreaking child will turn out to be an effective leader in the Church.

Finally, in Sunday School, I teach our young people how to win souls.  Witnessing young people are growing young people.  I can see we will have fewer problems with children who are concerned about reaching their friends for Christ.  Children and teens who are excited about Christ will want to share Him with others, so I give them the opportunities.

As a steady stream of young Christians flow into the Church, we will have fewer problems to invite and train even older members of their families for ministries.

These are great days for ministry.  May the Lord help us all to be faithful until He comes!

 

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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