Our Diocese of Metuchen held the ‘Diocesan Youth Day’ on October 23rd at St. Joseph’s Parish in Hillsborough. The Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry invited all parishes to celebrate a Mass this weekend, dedicated to the youth of the parish in conjunction with the Church internationally as parishes across the world unite to celebrate World Youth Day. Accordingly, we have designated today’s 12 noon Mass as the Youth Mass for our parish. You will see the participation of our youth in the liturgy, serving as different ministers. The visible presence of our youth is a sign of our desire to invite and involve our young people more and more into the parish life.
You will remember that efforts to revive our youth ministry got a boost with the presence and initiative of Msgr. Curry who is affectionately called ‘Fr. Joe.’ He, together with his vibrant team mentors – young and not so young – kept the youth program going even during the pandemic. As he was transferred, one of his team members – Sue Lenczewski – has agreed to take on the responsibility of coordinating our youth ministry. Sue has been a teacher for 40 years and has always gone above and beyond in advocating for the youth of our local community and inspiring them to be their best selves. She has been a parishioner of St. Matthias for 26 years and along with her husband, Raymond, she is a proud parent of two boys Ryan and Robert. Prior to moving to Somerset, Sue had served as a Youth Minister in Brooklyn, NY.
I am very grateful to Sue for accepting this responsibility to be the Youth Coordinator for St. Matthias which she sees as a group effort for the good of the parish. Assisting Sue are Ken Burns, Kathy Makowski, Keith Slyman, and Deacon John. I am confident that she will help build a community for our youth. There are many opportunities for both the young and the young at heart to mentor our youth and for all of us to be blessed with our youth’s active participation in our community.
Therefore as we locally celebrate World Youth Day, let us embrace the mission of promoting our youth as our common duty and responsibility. I invite you all to reach out and encourage the young people of your families and extended families and tell them that they are the church, and that they have a place and role in our church here at St. Matthias.
We are entering the week of Thanksgiving. But, giving thanks to whom? To God? Let us do our part in disproving the writer who quipped: “All what God gets from us is a short prayer before we dig into the turkey!!” Our Thanksgiving Day Mass at 8 am is a great opportunity for us to thank God as a community (Eucharist means Thanksgiving!) even as we join the rest of our nation in celebrating this quintessential American tradition.
I also invite all of us to pray Psalm 107 which encourages us to be grateful right from verse 1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” The rest of the psalm elaborates on God’s goodness with specific examples.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal