Don’t tell me that our young people are lazy and self-centered!
For the past 15 years Catholic youth have given up summer vacation time to take part in Mission Possible, an annual multi-parish service and justice project coordinated by the Diocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. This year over 1450 young people and adult leaders provided over 46,000 hours of service in food banks, homeless shelters, nursing homes and other charitable institutions.
They danced with senior citizens, painted, cleaned up gardens, picked up roadside trash, made sandwiches and helped spruce up many of our Catholic agencies and parishes as well as other community institutions. They experienced the joy and personal fulfillment of helping others. They learned that the gift of self is the greatest gift we have to give.
Mission Possible lasted one week and began with a Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Church celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Mark Seitz. Then during the following week the participants from 28 different parishes spread out across the area for their special projects.
This wonderful program was established in 1995 at St. Jude’s Parish in Allen and quickly became a diocesan-wide annual event. Young people rise to the occasion when mentored, provided skills, given the opportunity and challenged to make a difference.
One participant described the experience this way:
We are different.
We are one sorted clothes rack different.
We are one painted wall different.
We are one organized toy bin different.
We are one meal made different.
We are a helping hand different.
We are a satisfied customer different.
We are one week different.
One week stronger
One week kinder.
We can make a difference in a week.
We are Mission Possible different.
Mission Possible invites our young people to choose discipleship and become active members of their faith community. I congratulate all the young people and adult leaders for their participation.