We are here for you!
All students in 6th-12th grades are welcome. Invite your friends to join us!
Kelsey Burgans |Youth Minister
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Thriving (Not Just Surviving) in a Time like No Other
We’re currently living in a time like no other. We’re the most connected that we’ve ever been globally, yet we can’t leave our homes. Many of us probably just want things to go back to normal; however this should not be the case. Personally, I’ve enjoyed this extra time being with my family, and I’m sure you could say the same, too. Now don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows the entire time. It’s been nice to have family dinners every night, though, and I pray that you’ve enjoyed this time with your own families, also. I also pray that the good that has come out of this time will last long after the quarantine has been lifted. This year, our theme has been “FIAT: For I Always Trust”, and while I never imagined that this would be the way we would learn this, it has been excellent, as far as learning opportunities go. Here are a few words of comfort for those that we serve...
On behalf of the CORE teams, we miss you so much! While we may be socially distancing right now, please know that we’re praying for you and can’t wait to see you again soon. I know that you probably miss your friends (and school/teachers), plus all the experiences that you’ve waited for that are postponed or cancelled. Stay up to date on our GroupMe, join us on Sunday nights for "The Biggest Youth Night Ever" by Project YM, and check out the “Prayer > Panic” series we’ve been doing on our Instagram and Facebook. We're also pleased to announce that on Thursdays we will meet at 3:00 on Zoom. To be a party of the fun, click here.
Just because we’re not permitted to attend Mass outside of our home doesn’t mean that this should put a damper on our prayer lives. You have a choice to make now, and only you can make it. You can answer Jesus’s call to become a missionary disciple. Besides. aren’t you tired of playing video games for several hours each day or binge watching Netflix? Don’t you want to live for something else? To quote Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation to young people (Christus Vivit), “Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”
We know that the Catechism tells us that parents are the primary educators of their children. You’ve probably gotten a better calling of this by helping your child with their school work while trying to work yourself. And while we’ve all had a good laugh at the “carry the one” memes about helping children with their math homework, we have an even better opportunity to be better teachers. Sure, our kids need the sciences, math, and language arts, but most importantly, they need your love. They probably have lots of questions right now, and they probably aren’t all about academics. They may ask if they can go over to a friend’s house, if they could have a snack, or when all of this will be over. While we, as parents, can handle the snacks and explaining for the umpteenth time that we’re not supposed to visit anyone right now, we have our own questions that don’t really have answers right now: Was that cough due to allergies, or could it be the first signs of COVID-19? Will I be able to provide for my family if I lose my job? When will this all be over? While we can’t predict the future, we have hope that our loving God will continue taking care of us.
So, how can you lead your family right now? Show your kids the need for God and how you totally depend on him. If you’re not already praying with your family daily, now is a very good time to start. One of my friends has had her family pray the Divine Mercy chaplet every day at 3:00, affirming their trust in Jesus and his mercy. Pull up the Masses and watch them together. Lead your family on a walk around the neighborhood. (bonus points if you pray the rosary while doing it!) But most importantly, lovingly serve your family.
For Our Volunteers and Parishioners
We’re so blessed to have such dedicated CORE team members. Let me begin by saying a huge THANK YOU to those who have given of their time this year. They have accompanied our youth on their journeys to have a deeper relationship with Jesus. They’ve lead/played silly games, set up, cleaned up, chaperoned, served as examples, prayed, and done anything else they’ve been asked to do for our teens. I am eternally grateful to them. I am also appreciative of our parish community. They do so many “behind the scenes” work each week, I’d like to publicly recognize them so that you may join me in praying in thanksgiving for them: Sarah Bodden, Hunter Haynes, Marilou Jackson, Melissa Jansen, Ayded Martinez, Gabrielle Napier, Amanda Parker, Jake Schultz, Sara Schultz, Chris Walker, and Jennifer Walker.
Without YOUR support, we would not be able to minister to these teens as much as we have been and will continue doing. Thank you for your generosity, as well as your prayers, in strengthening our outreach to young people. Several of our parishioners and a few of our CORE team members work in the medical field. I would really like to say thank you in a special way to them. Thank you for doing what you’re doing. We’re praying for you in a special way: in thanksgiving for your gifts, for the protection of your health and that of your family, and for the strengthening of your families. If there’s another way that we can be praying or serving you, please let us know!
It’s not lost on me that the very last lesson we had with our middle schoolers was on time management before all this craziness started. We talked about all the things we would do if we just had the time. Well, here it is, and now we have an abundance of it. (Thanks be to God!) Here’s the thing- God has called us to be in this time. We’re going to suffer in some way or another during this pandemic. However, God never leaves us while we suffer (even though we did the same thing to Him). Make good use of this time and get to know the “domestic Church”. Or, if it’s been a really rough time for you, please consider offering up to God your trial in reparation for sins committed against him. The choice is yours. Scroll down for helpful apps to help you live out your faith.
Finally, let us pray for the end of the pandemic, for a vaccine/cure to be found soon, for those who have died or are currently suffering physically becuse of the disease, for comfort for the family members of those who have passed away or currently suffering, for those in the medical fields who are serving, in thanksgiving for those who have survived, and for the end of the anxiety that is causing people to worry about the future.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church abides by the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama Youth Protection Program. Through annual training, our students are reminded that they are made in God's image and carry dignity. To review the materials associated with our Safe Envioronment/Sexual Abuse Prevention, please click here. For more information about becoming a chaperone and earning Youth Protection certification, click here.