| By Father Dwight Ezop

God Is at Work in the Lives of Young Catholics

How often has someone asked you, “A penny for your thoughts?” I ask my friends that question every now and again when I see one of them with a serious look on his or her face. Sometimes, you can just tell when someone’s deep in thought and needs to talk about what’s on their mind – it could be anything from something that happened at work or at home to someone taking the time to really think about where their life is headed. Perhaps they just need a friendly ear to bend for a few minutes. Whatever the reason, I often find it helpful and even enjoyable to find out, on a deeper level, what’s happening in the lives of those who are important to me.

We often tell young people in our parishes that they’re important to us. They are, as we often remind them, the future of the Church. Yet beyond providing a safe environment in which the youth group can meet, supporting their fundraisers and attending some of the events that mark important moments in their lives, how often do we stop to ask “the future of the Church” what happens to be on its mind? Where do our young people find their joy? What makes them anxious or upset? How are we adults doing in caring for the world that will, one day very soon, be their responsibility? Most importantly, do we take the time to ask them about their relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ?

In this issue, as we do each October, we feature a number of young Catholics from around the diocese who have plenty of good, faith-filled thoughts to share with us. As it turns out, they also have lots of energy and creativity to share as well. More often than not their energy finds its expression through a variety of ways of helping those around them.

Take some time to read the thoughts of these young people. You’ll find that someone like Annie has found new ways to see and sense the presence of God, even during this time of pandemic. Sisters Nicole and Taylor have found that God has given them skills to serve as tutors for elementary-age children. Their faith has helped to shape and form the many ways they help young students to learn. Brothers Mickey and Remy use their musical gifts to enliven the worship life of their parish community. They also have plenty of good insights to share about the Church, including these beautiful words from Remy,

“We have room for you. If you are hungry, we want to feed you. If you are joyful, come share it with us. If you are sad, we want to support you. If you are hurt, we want to comfort and help you heal.”

These are words of invitation, welcome and solace. They are also words of great wisdom.

I invite you to take some time to read through this issue. It’s an opportunity to learn more about how God is working in the lives of young people from around our diocese. The thoughts, insights, inspiration and examples of practical service that our young Catholics can share with us are worth more than a penny. In fact, they’re priceless. And so our journey in FAITH continues.