A “Shout Out” for Young People!

This Sunday Bishop McElroy is with us to lead us in the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation as a number of our young Parishioners are receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In years past as I watched him impart the Holy Spirit: “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” I am always reminded of how proud I am of our teens.

In July, I will begin my 16th year as Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, and over the years I have been constantly amazed by our teens.

They are bright, warm, friendly, curious, oftentimes very gentle, and desirous of being involved in the life of the Parish.

When you come to Mass on the weekend, I am sure you have noticed the number of youth involved in the Parish: Sacristans, Altar Servers, Hospitality Ministers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Readers.

What a blessing as we see so many young people being integrated into the life of the Parish!

With Tilly Rudolph, our Youth Advocate, leading the way as we rebuild our Youth Ministry Program, our present is bright and our future is even brighter.

With this week’s Confirmation and my personal reflection on the youth of our Parish, I am focused on an event of national importance involving young people that is happening in our midst at the present moment.

The response of the Parkland, Florida, high school students who made a choice to lead the way in a national discussion on responsible gun legislation was a humbling moment for us “oldsters” and should be a wake-up call to us, a reminder of the gift of young people in our society, and how we must encourage and support their efforts.

It is so easy to be negative about young people, seeing the actions of a few and labeling all.

So often our young people get a really bad rap. So often we only hear the negatives.

Today I want to give a “shout-out” to our young people. They need our support, and they need to be recognized for the good people they are.

They have a difficult life today, with so many choices and options that fill their world through social media. They have so much they need to muck through every day. Yet they do, they survive, and they are good and desirous of doing the right thing, and of becoming better human beings trying to make us elders proud of them.

So today, let’s give a “Shout-out” to young people! They deserve it! They need it!

Congratulations to those who are confirmed this weekend! Thank you for your openness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We thank you for who you are and what you do. Let us continue to lean on each other and help each other on this journey of faith!