A Message From Father Brian
On Sunday evening (even though I felt
like curling up in front of the TV!) I made the much better
decision to catch the last 45 minutes of the Youth Group meeting,
and it made for a funny, moving, and relaxing finish to an
otherwise hectic weekend.
It hasn’t been anyone’s intention to keep the Youth Group
secret—in fact it’s advertised in virtually every bulletin—but
many of you probably don’t realize that we have one!
Our young people have been meeting steadily on Sunday
nights since January 2016.
Our Youth Minister is someone you probably know from other
areas of parish life in which she’s intimately involved, Mrs.
Jeanmarie Smith, our Pastoral Associate.
Jeanmarie brings wonderful gifts of imagination,
creativity, prayerfulness and joy to her interactions with the
kids. The group itself
graders, and despite the range in age, our young people
already seem to be feeling a connectedness to one another,
a new sense of belonging to the parish, and an easy rapport with
Jeanmarie that makes the Sunday meetings both fun and meaningful.
Their number is relatively small, though the kids come and
go on different nights depending on their own schedules, so an
accurate tally of the grand total would be tough right now.
I suspect, though, that having a dozen boys and girls in
our Youth Center (rather than 50) lends a very appealing intimacy
to the meetings.
I arrived just minutes after the pizza did
(sometimes my timing is impeccable!), and the pizza was
followed by a fascinating “game” that didn’t seem serious on the
surface, but definitely got the kids (and the grownups) thinking.
It was probably alot more revelatory than they even
I don’t want to scare off any of our teens who
have yet to stop by the Youth Group (they meet in the basement of
the school, by the way, just down the steps outside the main doors
of the building); prayer is always a part of the 90 minutes, but
the group doesn’t spend the whole time meditating!
In fact, I think many a Sunday begins with an open gym
night. But for me, as
a priest, it’s very gratifying to see that the young people of our
feel comfortable enough to share bits and pieces of their lives at
home and at school without fear of being judged or made fun of;
explore the beginnings of prayer, and a deeper side of themselves;
see our parish as something of a second home, and a safe haven in
the midst of their surprisingly complicated and demanding lives.
If you are a parent, please urge your child or children to
take a look at our Youth Group.
If you are already sending your child to be part of this
very special community, thank you.
And even if you don’t personally know a single teenager,
please pray for our teens, and for Jeanmarie and those who help
her, asking that God bless our young parishioners with gifts they
may never have thought to ask for.
May our brother and patron, St. Lawrence, pray for
us! God love you!
THE QUESTION BOX
Just for fun—and some ongoing
education—each week’s bulletin offers a question on
our Catholic spirituality and tradition.
Question: As we
continue our Lenten observance, we are likely to see the image of
the cross more frequently than ever during the coming weeks. Is
there a difference between a “cross” and a “crucifix"? Are the two
(a) A cross is
fashioned of wood; a crucifix is metal, or some other material.
(b) A cross does not have the letters, "INRI"
on it; a crucifix does.
(c) A cross does not
display the body of the crucified Jesus; a crucifix does.
(d) There is no real difference. Catholics prefer
the word "crucifix," while Christians of other denominations prefer
the word "cross."
This one may or may not have been easy, depending on your
familiarity with Church “vocabulary.” The principal difference
between a cross and a crucifix, is that the crucifix displays the
figure of the crucified (or in some cases, risen) Jesus. The Lord's
body is usually referred to as the corpus, from the Latin word for
"body." The correct answer is therefore (c). In fairness, though,
one could also argue for choice (b). It would be rare to find a
cross (with no corpus) that nevertheless includes the parchment
nailed above the Lord's head, with the abbreviation, "INRI." What
do those letters mean? Our Faith Formation children who’ve done a
tour of the church will probably remember, but we’ll save that for
another week . . .