Friday, July 10, 2009

Send us to Steubenville!

This is my testmimoy for Mass on Saturday night about our upcoming youth trip to the Steubenville Conference in St. Paul, MN.

Hello! For those of you who don’t know me my name is Tiffany Topel and I serve as the youth minister here at St. John the Baptist and St. Lawrence. I am here tonight to tell you a little about the youth conference 36 teens and 4 young adults will be experiencing in a few short weeks. Last year St. John’s took a group of 20 to the Steubenville North Conference which began in Steubenville OH at Franciscan University. It quickly grew and thus, the Steubenville Conference emerged. There are conferences held in Florida, California, Colorado, and Minnesota to name a few. Our group attends “Steubenville North” in St. Paul MN and joins more than 2,000 other high school students to celebrate our Catholic faith through Mass, praise and worship Music, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I personally feel invested in this program because of what I witnessed at last year’s conference and I feel very blessed (and humbled) to be able to share some of them with you.

Saturday night during adoration our young people had the
opportunity to stand in commitment to beginning a relationship with Jesus. It was a humbling experience to watch as every single one of our parish’s youth stood up. When asked to share their experience at the conference our youth said things like: ‘adoration was amazing’ ‘I wish all the youth in our parish could experience this’ ‘steubenville changed my life’. This year for the first in many, St. John’s was able to have a high school youth group meet once a week to pray, play and build community with one another.

And so our youth come to you again this year to ask for your support. Next weekend at Masses we will be in the church parking lot on north street washing cars and selling baked goods to help pay for our transportation to the conference. If you would like your car washed during Mass please park on the left side of the parking lot. In exchange we would ask for a donation in any amount. If you would like to give a monetary donation, please make checks payable to SJB.

It means a lot to know that our youth are supported by our parish family. Please keep our young people in your prayers as we prepare for the retreat and pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to bless us. It is an amazing thing to know that as we leave, our youth will never return the same people that left St. John’s. They will return to you empowered and strengthened to live out their baptismal call and be great leaders of the church. I thank you on behalf of our group for your generosity especially during this time of difficulty for our country and local community. We are eternally grateful for your sacrifice and love.

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