Youth Ministry

Sunday's Theme: Lamb of God

 In the catechism it states that 536: “The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". Already he is anticipating the "baptism" of his bloody death. Already he is coming to "fulfill all righteousness", that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father's will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. The Father's voice responds to the Son's acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son. The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to "rest on him". Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened" - the heavens that Adam's sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.”

John 1: 29-34 “The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. And I knew him not, but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.” Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall!

Join us this Saturday is our drive for life! Due to the continued need to social dis-tance, this year’s Right to Life March will be a little different. The route will begin at the usual spot of 10th and Avenue F, gathering at 10:15 AM on Saturday, January 23rd. Since McAleer Hall is still closed to public events, the route will be driven, rather than walked, and will end at 5th and Avenue G. This year is a great op-portunity for those who usually can’t participate due to walking/mobility challenges to join in. Everyone is invited to warm up the car and join in this year’s ‘march’ on January 23rd. Hope to see you there!

Sunday's Theme: Baptism of Jesus

 This feast day marks the end of the Christmas season in our liturgical calendar. We discussed this topic with the catechism of the Catholic Church: “St. John the Baptist is the Lord's immediate precursor or forerunner, sent to prepare his way.196 "Prophet of the Most High", John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last.197 He inaugurates the Gospel, already from his mother's womb welcomes the coming of Christ, and rejoices in being "the friend of the bridegroom", whom he points out as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".198 Going before Jesus "in the spirit and power of Elijah", John bears witness to Christ in his preaching, by his Baptism of conversion, and through his martyrdom.” (523) The baptism of Jesus marks a new baptism, we do not only receive the baptism of conversion that St John the baptist gave, but a new life in Christ!  

Matthew 3: 13-17 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him. And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  

Jesus' public life begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan. John preaches "a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins". A crowd of sinners - tax collectors and soldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees, and prostitutes- come to be baptized by him. "Then Jesus appears." The Baptist hesitates, but Jesus insists and receives baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, "This is my beloved Son." This is the manifestation ("Epiphany") of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Son of God. Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his own baptism anticipates his death and resurrection. The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son. (CCC, 535-537)


Sunday's Theme: Epiphany of the Lord

Matthew 2: 1-12 “When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; And sending them into Bethlehem, said:

Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.”

Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall, we connected the theme of this scripture passage to the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Jesus is our King, Prophet, and High Priest. The gifts of the Magi reflect on this with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We played Christmas Kahoot to grow in our knowledge of our faith!


Sunday's Theme: Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 1: 18-24 “Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Spirit. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.”

We had a great time at our last meeting celebrating the birthday of Jesus! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall (this week we will be meeting in Saints Mary and Joseph Church to help take down Christmas decorations- come and get your service hours and show your love for our parish family!) The Hold On To Love webpage is now active on our Diocesean website! We have the link to it on our facebook, Instagram and Twitter group pages for our youth https://www.facebook.com/groups/2170022139902019 Join us online this Sunday January 10th at 7pm for our livestream event on our youth facebook page! This month’s sub-theme of “Love Breaks Through.”

 


Sunday's Theme: Prepare the Way of the Lord

St John the Baptist fulfilled his mission to prepare the hearts of the Isrealites for the coming of Jesus. He preached in the desert, eating locust and honey, wearing itchy camel's hair for clothes. He lived a life of penance and endured hardships for the sake of Christ, even to death by being beheaded because King Herod liked his daughters dancing. We each have our unique missions to prepare the way for Jesus. We can turn the hearts of those we meet to Christ by example, prayer, word, and deed. Through our service, love, kindness, and perseverance, we can be the hands of Jesus and show others how good it is to live as Christ showed us! In this time of advent, let us prepare the hearts of all we meet like the Blessed Mother so that we can all have a deeper encounter of the love of God. 

We had a great time at our last meeting! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall or using Zoom: (email [email protected] for the password). Christmas time is a time to do acts of love for others, remembering the love of Christ and showing that love to others by word and deed (giving gifts, discussing the love of God and service). We are planning on helping set up Christmas decorations at Saint Mary and Joseph Church this week after the 10:30am Mass and making more Jesse Tree ornaments afterward, come and join us for fun, faith formation and fellowship!!

Sunday's Theme: Immaculate Conception

Yesterday we celebrated that God gave Our Blessed Mother Mary the gift of an immaculate conception, meaning that she was conceived without the mark of original sin. The rest of us inherited the mark of original sin from Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the garden of Eden, this is one reason why it is so important to have infants baptized because it erases the mark of original sin and helps the child live life to the fullest, with the freedom of the children of God. From all eternity, God knew His plan for the Blessed Virgin (because of the the attributes of God is that He is all-knowing) and so He knew her role and her responses (much like we would know the responses of someone from our favorite movie) and God prepared her for this role with the gifts and graces necessary to carry out her mission.   

We had a great time at our last meeting! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall or using Zoom: (email [email protected] for the password). The youth group is planning a trip to Coralville mall for ice skating and Christmas shopping Saturday December 12th, we will have 2 groups so if you do not like ice skating then come and enjoy looking for gifts for your loved ones! Christmas time is a time to do acts of love for others, remembering the love of Christ and showing that love to others by word and deed (giving gifts, discussing the love of God and service). There will be plenty of good discounts at that time and remember we have our book store next to Sacred Heart that have excellent Christmas gifts too! We will meet at Coralville Mall by the entrance of the ice rink at noon and are planning on leaving around 2pm so we will have plenty of time to go to the 4pm Mass at Sacred Heart for those of you who are planning on attending that Mass. Come and join us for fun, faith formation and fellowship!!

                                                                                     

Sunday's Theme: Fidelity

As we begin our Advent Season, we remember the importance of preparing for the coming of Christ as we reflect on the scripture passage of the parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. If we hold on to the “oil” of charity and fidelity to Jesus’ teachings, we will be like the wise vigilant virgins who were eagerly awaiting the bridegroom’s arrival. Our faith tells us that Jesus will come again, if not during our lifetime then at the moment of death we will see Him face to face. It is good to remember this so that we live as beloved children of God, making choices of love instead of selfishness. How we live now will effect our eternity (either eternal joy in heaven or eternal suffering in hell). This motivates us to live as the Saints did, expanding our capacity to love so that we can store up treasures in the Kingdom of Heaven and have a greater capacity to glorify God. 

 


Sunday's Theme: Trust in God

 “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Mt 6:26) We cannot love both God and money, we should always put God first, work hard and trust in God’s divine providence as he encourages us in this scripture verse.

We had a great time at our last meeting! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall or using Zoom: (email [email protected] for the password). We will continue to make Christmas cards for those in nursing homes, they have been lonely since COVID began and a personalized card with a bible verse will uplift their spirits! We will also be helping Father decorate the rectory November 29th, come and join us- Father is providing pizza!

 

Sunday's Theme: Vocation Week

We had a great time at our last meeting! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting at McAleer Hall or using Zoom: (email [email protected] for the password). We will continue to make Christmas cards for those in nursing homes, they have been lonely since COVID began and a personalized card with a bible verse will uplift their spirits! We will also be helping Father decorate the rectory November 29th, come and join us- Father is providing pizza!

There are different vocations God can call us to and the importance of listening to God’s invitation because the path he calls us down will lead us to the fullness of joy. St Therese of Lisieux described the different vocations like various types of wildflowers, each one is unique and makes the Church beautiful. The different types of vocations that we discussed last week were Priesthood, Monk/Brother, Sister/Consecrated Virgin, Marriage). In Jeremiah 29:11 God told the prophet “for I know well the plans I have for you.” From all eternity God has loving plans for your life and we should not be afraid to open our hearts to Jesus as St John Paul II would say, so that we can become fully realized and live life more abundantly with the freedom of the children of God. We also played a vocations kahoot and discussed other resources such as “And You Are Christ’s” by Thomas Dubay, explaining the vows that Religious take. 

Sunday's Theme: Discerning Vocations

We had a great time at our last meeting! Join us Sunday's at 11:30am for our faith formation meeting in Mcaleer hall or using Zoom:     (email [email protected] for the password). We spoke on the different vocations God can call us to and the importance of listening to God’s invitation because the path he calls us down will lead us to the fullness of joy. God is our loving Father who made our hearts, he knows what will ultimately make us the most happy (Priesthood, Monk/Brother, Sister/Consecrated Virgin, Marriage) even if we think one path will make us happy because most people go down it, we may discover after a time of prayer, visiting different communities and discernment that we enjoy more another path that God is leading us down. Many people ask us what our plans are for the future, but we should be asking what God’s plans are for our lives. Jesus says “my sheep hear my voice” (Jn 10:27), Saint Mother Teresa said that Jesus speaks in the silence of our hearts, so coming to our youth group Holy Hour at 7pm every Friday is a great opportunity to silence ourselves and tell God “speak Lord, your servant is listening.”  



Sunday's Theme: Evangelization

We had a great time at our last zoom meeting! Join us online Sunday's at 1pm for our faith formation meeting using Zoom:     (email [email protected] for the password) We connected the theme to our mission to go out and make disciples of all nations no matter what the cost. By relying on Gods grace and the Holy Spirit, we will be strengthened like the first apostles who went out after pentecost. Before the Holy Spirit came they locked themselves in the upper room because they were afraid of being crucified like Jesus, but after they opened their hearts and were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were strengthened and given gifts and graces to fulfill all that God asked of them through Jesus.

LK 12:8-12 Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God... When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say." Even when we face persecutions during evangelization, we should not lose hope because “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1 Cor. 2:9) Jesus always keeps his promises and has promised great rewards in the Kingdom of heaven for those who are faithful to His word and teaching. The Holy Spirit will speak through us if we are docile and listen to His voice in our hearts like the Saints. It may take us years of practice, but it is worth it if we want to advance in the spiritual life as we reflect the words of Jesus to St Faustina “the cause of your falls is that you rely too much on yourself and too little on me.” (Diary, 1488)

We had a great time at the corn maze last Saturday, check out some pictures on our pintrest and facebook page!

Join us November 2nd at 5:15pm at Sacred Heart Cemetery to pray a divine mercy chaplet for the faithful departed and discuss all souls day. Our next monthly service project is November 29th, join us at the Saint Mary and Joseph Church rectory to decorate for Christmas after the 10:30am Mass!