Outside felt like -45, but inside, it was 'ablazing' at St. Bonaventure's last Friday night.
The Ablaze Youth Ministry team has been planning their first youth night with FacetoFace Ministries for months. Despite the freezing temperatures, the excitement was so palpable that cancelling was not an option. We weren't sure who would show up, so we made an act of faith, and opened the doors to the church.
Over 80 youths came! God is good! It was an amazing surprise to see this level of participation from our parish families, and those coming from other parishes in the Diocese.
FacetoFace Ministries led our inaugural event, bringing a fantastic lineup of games, while helping the youth connect with each other. Not only did youth participants have fun, but they also learned about the history of salvation and God's timing.
We are also blessed with the help of our 20 volunteers, and St. Bonaventure's Knights of Columbus who generously volunteered to make hot chocolate and hot dogs for all. We felt so much love and encouragement from the community and parents. But what really stuck with us was how these students braved the elements from all over the city to come to the youth group! Their presence really says that, "Youth ministry is important to us; we crave community, we seek Jesus, and we're willing to endure -45 weather just for that experience!"
I am thrilled to see Ablaze being used as a tool for evangelization and pastoral renewal. It helps us teach the story of Jesus and the work of salvation to our youth and engage them and their families in the life of the Church. My hope is that we can continue to nurture the flame that is already burning within these young people, and help them to develop an even greater love for God and His Church. Let's set this passion ablaze!
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers