The staff at Life Teen is so excited for the 600 participants who were able to make it to the Life Teen and Edge Training Convention, but we realize that some of you couldn’t be here. But you’re in luck, because I’m going to be keeping you up to date on what’s going on here in the sun and heat … and air conditioning.
I realize I need to introduce myself since I am a new name and face to CatholicYouthMinistry.com. My name is Christina Mead and I am the Web Content Editor for Life Teen. I am so happy to serve you all and thankful that God has called me to this role.
You know, you can sit in a 9 to 5 job and not fully understand the ramifications of what you do. I loved this first day of Convention because I could put faces to the people whom we serve. Youth ministers have one of the hardest jobs I can think of. The staff at Life Teen loves the opportunity to serve you – whether it’s the hours of preparation, paperwork, or pizza serving.
The reality of how difficult ministry can be was emphasized by our first keynote speaker, Jack McAleer, retired executive CFO of Krispy Kreme. He reminded the crowd that the call to sainthood, though beautiful, is filled with crosses. He attributed his own conversion as an adult to the example of holiness he found in the youth minister at his parish. He left the crowd with a challenge to be holier, more open, and more faithful people.
Later, the heavy smell of incense filled the hotel ballroom as dozens of priests processed in for Mass. A room filled with vibrant, faithful Catholics made the celebration of the Lamb’s supper tonight breath-taking. There’s nothing quite like being united as one body in prayer. Fr. Leo Patalinghug, the main celebrant, re-iterated that unity sharing about the gifts the Spirit gives – peace and communion.
That’s what Convention is all about. It’s about coming together and uniting in our cause to bring teens closer to Christ. Father Leo reminded us that Pentecost is every single day of the year because the Holy spirit dwells within us, longing to clothe us in His might. He makes up for our weaknesses so that no matter how many times we fail, God’s plan is always fulfilled.
The participants then experienced a “Life Night” and ended the day with Night Prayer. They lifted their hearts heavenward one more time because though the job is tough and the fruits can be few and far between, God’s “gravitational pull” as Fr. Leo said, never fails to lead us where we belong.