This winter, I cleared out all the extra “stuff” from my home closets. It’s such a great feeling to have that one area of my life in such order! I was reflecting in my prayer over the weekend about how easy it would be to accomplish all my tasks if my entire life were so organized!
We never quite make it there, do we? As nice as it is to have a very organized closet, I realize that I still have to devote an enormous amount of time and diligence to the other areas of my life and work if I want the same result in those areas. It’s a simple concept with a difficult reality.
The same can be said for our ministries with young people. It seems a simple thing to sign up for one of the youth conferences that Saint Meinrad offers each summer. But then we must identify the youth who will participate, make the travel plans, and embark. The reality is that this takes time, organization, and a little creative genius along the way.
Let’s look at the process a bit more in depth, beginning with the decision to attend a “One Bread, One Cup” summer conference with your parish youth or high school group.
What things should we consider? Well, there’s the cost of the conference, including travel expenses, an extra night coming and going if you’re a good distance from Saint Meinrad, and meals as you travel.
Then there are the bigger questions like, “Who benefits from this conference?” and “What’s the best way to prepare for this experience?” Let’s not leave out “Why should we attend in the first place?” Let’s dive into the answers right now!
Who benefits? The entire parish. Young people coming home and serving in liturgical ministries lights a fire in the entire congregation. Youthful energy, directed toward our parish liturgies, is the greatest gift from an experience at “One Bread, One Cup.”
How to prepare? Simple; ask the Lord to show you which youth to invite. When you go to Mass, ask God to make young people stand out to you as they participate. Watch the Communion line. Active prayer brings active results. God is faithful and will let you know which young people He is calling!
Finally, why should a parish or high school group attend OBOC? Because it is the most powerful way to engage young people in the liturgical life of the Church and offers them the tools and resources they need to remain engaged throughout their young adult lives.
I realize that is a strong claim, but it’s one in which I firmly believe. It’s not only a claim, it’s my experience as well.
Tammy Becht is the director of the "One Bread, One Cup" program. To learn more about our summer liturgical leadership conferences, visit our website: https://www.saintmeinrad.edu/youth/summer-conferences/