By: Fr. S. Morrissey, C.Ss.R.
Youth Ministry at St. Teresa’s, St. John’s, NL
In recent weeks and months Youth Ministry has been flourishing at St. Teresa’s, these next few sentences will explain what’s up. If I were only given two words to talk about what’s up with the Youth at St. Teresa’s they would be “Social Justice”. Justice and service is a large part of what St. Teresa’s youth is all about right now.
Roughly once every six weeks, a few young people (about 15 high school age youth) from St. Teresa’s, along with a very committed group of adult volunteers, get together to prepare a meal for “The Gathering Place”, a local soup kitchen and comfort zone for St. John’s. The Gathering Place is great resource center where those in need can gather for a warm smile, a bit of friendship, a clean change of clothes, a haircut and other health and grooming concerns. The Gathering Place is looked after under the auspices of the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters, two wonderful groups of generous people here in Newfoundland.
Over the past number of months the youth of St. Teresa’s Parish have made chicken soup, beef soup and most recently a heart warming chilli to serve lunch for over 120 clients on a Monday.
The Youth recently spent some time reflecting on why we as Catholics are called to reach beyond and live acts of social justice. A few simple responses include; 1) It is fun! 2) Jesus tells us to! 3) because we can!
The youth of St. Teresa’s love being involved in reaching beyond the familiar. This regular sharing with “The Gathering Place” allows the youth, the St. Vincent de Paul society at St. Teresa’s and the Knight of Columbus at St. Teresa’s to all work hand in hand and grow as a parish. Different branches of ministry all share in the common goal of making St. Teresa’s the “hands and feet of Christ”. Since this past school year began St. Teresa’s youth and “The Gathering Place” have come together some 4 or 5 times and the partnership does not end there as more active ministry is due to come. Simple acts of great love keep the faith growing and alive.
In addition to a very active group of high school aged youth in the Mundy Pond area St. Teresa’s continues on with a very active music ministry and there is a wonderful group of young adults who are also part of life blood of the church present and future.