Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In our 'neck' of the woods (whatever that means)--there is a majority of people who are readying themselves for the start of the academic year.
In my day-- that meant you received a new ruled tablet with glue binding and one #2 pencil that could never write on the tablet because the paper was too cushiony.  For some (except my brother who merely switched between two classrooms for six years) there was a new classroom and new seating.  There may even be a 'new kid'.  It's a mix of excitement and anxiety.

Right now, I'm the newbie at a parish where I recently began some part-time work.
This past weekend I said hello and shook some hands..."Hi, I'm the part-time youth director..."
I don't do well with that kind of stuff--actually the older I get the more difficult it has become.

How many of us have that automatic shut off that is activated whenever a person begins to speak after communion?  Even as a priest I would shut down.  None-the-less I decided to share a quick story (that I had published earlier in this blog).

And so, I preface my request for your prayers for this group with that story...

(The following scene happened to me a few years ago)
The room was filled with about 50 some high schoolers attending a retreat that I was to give.
But I couldn't even get the evening started...

I read the Gospel passage where Jesus was tempted in the desert.

They gave me that blank stare. 
"Crap," I thought "This whole evening is centered on this passage and they're looking at me like I'm some old fart with ten heads."

I put the Bible down and with that my eyes were opened.

"How many of you believe in God?"
There was silence.
"Come on, be honest, we got nothing to lose.  I'm just curious, raise your hand if you believe in the existence of God."
Six hands...out of about 50

"Okay, so lets move to Jesus.  How many believe?"
Four hands.

"Now, what about satan?"

We spent the next two hours talking about why and what's missing, and what can the Church do, and who goes to Mass, and what is going on at home ...and all that stuff.


One of the clergy upon hearing this remarked, "Well you know, it was bad weather that night."

Yep, I base my faith on the weather.

Do me a favor today and pray for the youth who will be gathering this evening.

For anyone interested in following the startup and life of a new youth community you can follow them on twitter @stjoesbol