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One truth about teens remains:

The need for you to love yourself

"What could I possibly learn from them?”

I remember asking myself that question when Bishop Mengeling assigned me to my present parish. After all, I was coming from a big Ann Arbor parish to a much smaller one north of Lansing. Surely there would be a great deal to accomplish in a smaller parish in a little town. I’ll just show up in town one weekend, announce my presence, and then begin sharing the wealth of my two whole years of priestly ministry. They won’t know what hit them. I’m sure they just got electricity and hot-and-cold running water a few months ago. With God’s help, there will be much work to do.

Well, at least I was right about that–there was a lot of work to be done–in me! Truth be told, I’ve tried to spend most every day of the past five years learning from the people of the parish through the witness of their deep, abiding faith and their willingness to translate their words of belief into Christian action that advances the coming of God’s kingdom in our little corner of the world. Thanks be to God I am still learning!

As you hold in your hands our annual teen issue of FAITH, you may well be asking yourself, “What could I possibly learn from them?” After all, many of us are beyond our teen years, and happily so, I would suspect. Nonetheless, take some time to listen to the wisdom of young people like Gaelen, Keon-Young, Sarah and Mahluli. Do they have it all figured out? No–but then who of us really does? Do they have wisdom, insight and faith-filled example to offer? You bet! Do they, and many other young people, try to live faithful lives that translate the words of belief into Christian action? Most certainly.

Perhaps we can learn from one another. And so our journey in FAITH continues.