With the slight brush of cold coming in these last few weeks, fall has started in full swing! I not only feel it in the change of air but also in the change of activity around our Par-ish. Both our High School and Mid-dle School Youth Groups have be-gun, and I’m already having so much fun. I remember on our first Sunday meeting looking out at our group of middle school students, and even as they squirmed or crossed their arms, unsure what they were getting themselves into, I had to smile to myself. I had missed them.

I’ve been learning more and more about how the Lord works faithfully in the small offerings that we are able to give. We are often taught to measure, count, and anticipate the cost of things and how much we give and how much we will get back. This is how our society functions. If I go to the store to shop (one of my favorite activities!), I budget and shop for the items I need, and at the end of my shop-ping experience, the money I have to give is then displayed in the amount of items that are in my cart.

Yet, the Lord flips this around on me so often. He takes my small offerings of time or talent and multiplies them far greater than I thought possible. Remember the miracle of feeding 5,000 men on a simple diet of five loaves and two fish? That miracle doesn’t just happen in the Gospels. The Lord continues to show me that if I’m willing to give the small offering I have, He will exceed my imagination and expectations.

As I see the Lord do this over and over again, I continually ask my-self, “What are my loaves and fishes I can give to the Lord this week?” Because the more I am brave and give them to the Lord to use, the more I am strengthened in my faith as I see Him work (talk about the best deal of the year!) This has become one of my favorite questions to ask my teens in our different groups.

This year, during our High School Life Nights, we will be looking at the Creed that we pray in the Mass every Sunday. I want to really dive into the Story that is written there and also study the stories the Lord is writing for us personally. It will be a year of laughing, learning, and growing together.
One crucial part of our high school ministry is the hospitality. Free food and a welcoming smile make even the more timid teens feel at home. This year, I want to invite you to join me in helping teens feel welcomed and wanted. You might feel like you don’t have much to offer or give, but what might the Lord do with the loaves and fishes you can offer? Would you consider “Adopting a Life Night”?

What does it mean if you “Adopt a Life Night”?

If you adopt a Life Night, that means you help provide a snack for the group, you’re a welcoming face when they walk through the door, praying for us throughout the evening, and watching the group to be an extra pair of eyes for the night. There are a lot of them and not as many of me. 😉

If you are interested or if you have any questions about adopting a life night, feel free to email me or reach me at the Parish Office.
Thank you so much for all your love and support of our youth and this ministry. We truly would not be who we are without you!

To giving loaves and fish together,
Clare Kolenda
Youth Faith Formation