New iCafe Sign!!

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Kids and adults from iCafe celebrate the new iCafe sign donated by local parishioners. We are so grateful for this amazing new sign. It will surely serve as a welcoming beacon to local teens. Our youth ministry efforts are ready to welcome all youth. Pictured are some local iCafe students who enjoy hanging out at iCafe as well as Fuzzy Cappiella, Bonnie Pearson, Brother Michael and yours truly! God is so good to us. We are grateful for the positive fellowship, laughter, fun, and prayer which takes place at iCafe.

• TEENS: You are invited to iCafe! It’s fun.

• ADULTS: Tell a high school or middle school student about iCafe – and consider becoming an adult who volunteers to be at iCafe. It’s a great experience.

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Thank You Fr. Thomas More for Blessing Chapel, iCafe, and Recreation Room

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On Wednesday evening, Fr. Thomas More visited iCafe and brought with him the grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Father was warmly welcomed by the youth who appreciated his peaceful demeanor and exuberant articulation of Catholic practices which Fr. Thomas More expertly crafted into language the teens could relate to. He explained to the youth that we are used to seeing holy things at Mass, but as Catholics we also have the tradition of bringing those holy things into our homes and community spaces. Father went on to illustrate the ways in which the Catholic faith is Incarnational, which is to say that in our Catholic prayer and worship, we involve the eyes with beautiful things to look at, the ears with holy music to listen to, our sense of touch with water and oil, even our sense of smell by using incense which rises to heaven like our prayers. Our Catholic faith affirms the goodness of creation and the goodness of existing not only in soul, but in bodily form with eyes, ears, noses, and so on.

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Thurible

Speaking of incense, in addition to sprinkling holy water throughout the complex, Fr. Thomas More walked through the rooms and the hallway with a thurible full of smokey incense. He was assisted by one of the students who had become the designated thurifer (a thurifer typically being an acolyte who assists in carrying the incense when the priest is not doing so.) The blessing and prayers administered by father simultaneously served to invoke and invite the presence and grace of the Lord into the place while also driving out evil and expelling all that is not of the Lord.

farkleAfter this blessing, Fr. Thomas More joined everyone at table as the youth munched down two large ‘Don’s Big Boys’ pizzas. Youth ministry parishioners Mike and Jen Gelsick introduced father to the incredibly fun Farkle dice game while father conversed with them and the youth about topics ranging from the names of garments worn by priests to what was on offer in the latest video games. As for video games, the youth were very excited to play NHL 2014 on the XBox which was newly released this week. Mr. Gelsick even hopped into the game play and managed to hold his own among the highly skilled youth. One of the students also brought her clarinet to play some music while everyone ate.

With the night almost over, some of the youth moved to the pool tables where the topic of discussion turned to the current school year and how they were progressing. We were certainly blessed with Fr. Thomas More’ presence at the youth social. His presence was not only a friendly and joyful presence, but in particular, it was a priestly presence. This priestly presence (for lack of a better term) is a unique type of presence which never fails to bring about a certain sense of merriment and peace wherever it is found.

SMAHS Life Teen Club First Meeting

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It was a great pleasure to again join some of the students at SMA high school for Life Teen club today. The SMA Life Teen club is open to all high school youth. We welcomed a few new faces, made some crafts for the retirement communities, and discussed the upcoming beginning to the year of Life Teen on Sunday nights which will begin on September 29. The purpose of the SMA Life Teen club is to provide affirming fellowship for the youth of SMA. Along the way we make many friends, enjoy a small snack, and usually do a good work such as making crafts for the retirement communities. I am very thankful for this chance to get to know even more kids from the high school community and to provide an occasion for positive fellowship.

Today, in addition to making colorful door hangers for the retirees, everyone talked about about how summer went and yes we even told a few corny jokes:

One guy told another guy that someone said he sound like an owl.

The other guy replied, “Who?”

Getting Ready For Life Teen

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Preparations are well underway for the coming year of Life Teen. We have a team in place which is committed to the discipleship of teenagers. Various team members take on the challenge of heading up different Life Nights. We are looking forward to the best St. Marys Life Teen year ever. Life Teen is all about leading teens closer to Christ.