Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Days Like This

Van Morrison's " Days Like This" for your listening pleasure:

Work Camp, 2014

"Love Courageously" was the theme of this year's Diocesan Work Camp. On the back of the shirts the kids received on the last day, is a quote from a Tweet by Pope Francis "True Charity Requires Courage".
 I don't use Twitter but if you want to follow him, his handle is @ pontifex. The kids above are the group from our parish. Among our adult crew leaders are a brother and three sisters and five of their kids (from four families).They are full of life and joy and are hilarious!

These kids all know each other well from months of fund-raising together. They raised over 22,000 dollars which is used to purchase building materials for the 150 projects they did on homes of poor and underprivileged folks across the valley. Painting, building decks, porches, and ramps, redoing bathrooms and roofing  were some things done. Sam re-did a roof this week. Only one story roofs were chosen  and all the kids were harnessed while on the roof. Each crew has an adult leader, five teens and a construction guy who volunteers for the week.
Work Camp is an intense week with over 800 teens and over three hundred adult volunteers ( who ALL undergo background checks). Some folks work all year to prepare for this one week. Each project undertaken is finished. If the crew runs out of time in one week, contractors are paid by the Diocese to finish each one up promptly.

The teens rise early, attend a daily Mass in the gym, grab breakfast like yogurt and hard-boiled eggs, select their tools for the day and get into a (plastic covered on the interior) mini-van to go to the job sites. Interestingly, each of the parish kids are assigned to separate crews so they have to get to know other kids and work with them.
In the evening, the teens hang with their own parish group and attend a program of Christian music and inspirational speakers. Confessions, Adoration and the Rosary are also a part of this intense spiritual week.
This week of fellowship, action and prayer allows for the young people to encounter a Living God who loves each of them personally. Many young people really develop a closer walk with their Sweet Lord during this week and do so with their peers. It can be life-changing. This is one program that is effective in passing on the baton of our Faith to the young folks who are indeed, the future of our Church.

Sam had a very good week and although he said it wasn't as much fun as last year, he really  enjoyed all of his friends. I volunteered to be a Security Guard on Monday night and had a chance to observe it all going on around me. The Fund raising is so endless during the year, but it certainly is worth it! We DO want to be people of Faith who "Love Courageously".