This Sunday's Theme: Lamb of God
We had a great time last Sunday discussing Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God and lion of Judah. and playing foosball!!! 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.” We will continue to meet before CCD at 6pm and after Mass 10:30am Sunday Mass for faith formation, fellowship and food, come and join us!
We are having a doughnut sale to raise money for our service project: making blankets for the homeless February 3rd! The Hy-Vee doughnuts will be available for pick up after all Masses January 25th-26th. Another event January 25th is our March for Life, we are meeting at McAleer Hall at 9:45am and after the March having cookies and hot chocolate. Several young youth joined us last year because the March is not long so bring your whole family! We are so happy to see so many new altar servers! “Know, O Christian, that the Mass is the holiest act of religion. You cannot do anything to glorify God more, nor profit your soul more, than by devoutly assisting at it, and assisting as often as possible.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard.
This Sunday's Theme: Baptism
We had a great time last Sunday taking down Christmas decorations, playing baptism kahoot and giant jenga!!! We also grew in our knowledge of the baptism with the bible, catechism, trivia questions and prizes for the winners! We discussed how we should follow the example Jesus gave from his own baptism and the gift of this sacrament to help us live life to the fullest! Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." This tells us the importance of baptism to enjoy life in the kingdom of heaven. As we grow in our faith, we strive to do the will of God as Jesus calls us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:19-20). We bear this responsibility to share the good news and will be held accountable. There is hope though for "those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation." (catechism, 337) Thank God internet access has helped our evangelization efforts to reach all people, we have so much to give others so that they too may enjoy the gift of the Eucharist and life in Christ. At youth group we are becoming prepared to respond to God's will and share this gift of others based on the experience of many successful Catholic missionaries and Saints. The gift of baptism wipes away the mark of original sin, so it is a great service a parent does for an infant to get them baptized. For more information to discuss at home, read catechism number 535-537!
We are having a doughnut sale to raise money for our service project: making blankets for the homeless! The Hy-vee donuts will be available for pick up after all Masses January 25th-26th. Another event January 25th is our March for Life, we are meeting at McAleer Hall at 9:45am and after the March having cookies and hot chocolate. Several young youth joined us last year because the March is not long so bring your whole family!
We will be making the blankets at youth group February 3rd at youth group, parents are welcome to join us. We will continue to meet before CCD at 6pm and after Mass 10:30am Sunday Mass for faith formation, fellowship and food, come and join us! Thank you everyone who helped take down the Christmas decorations at Church!
We had a great time last Sunday at our chili cook off!!! We also grew in our knowledge of the incarnation as we played Christmas kahoot! We connected this to the Gospel with the Magi: 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.”
We had a great time at our alter server party! We are having a doughnut sale to raise money for blankets for the homeless, the Hy-vee doughnuts will be available for pick up after all Masses January 25th-26th. We will be making the blankets at youth group February 3rd at youth group. We also have our March for life coming up January 25th. We will be meeting at Saint Mary and Joseph Parking lot at 9:45 and then have cookies and hot chocolate at McAleer Hall after the March. There is a great resource from our Diocese on protecting our families from pornography. During the weekend of February 29 – March 1, 2020, the Diocese of Davenport will implement Safe Haven Sunday. This awareness weekend offers some excellent resources to aid you, your family, school, and parish in navigating modern technology usage and the deep harm that is caused by pornography. Please take advantage of the free training programs, articles, and videos available at this link: https://cleanheart.online/diocese-davenport-0 We will continue to meet before CCD at 6pm and after Mass 10:30am Sunday Mass for faith formation, fellowship and food, come and join us!
We had a great time making discussing the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18 and making little wooden mangers to remember the humility of our God. “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.” Next weekend is our chili cook off... come and join us at McAleer Hall after the 10:30am Mass Sunday and bring your chili dish! We will have youth group at 6pm Wednesday!
We had a great time making Christmas cards for the Kensington and playing Christmas Kahoot! Next weekend we are making little wooden mangers to prepare our hearts in this time of advent for Jesus, come and join us after the 10:30am Mass Sunday or 6pm Wednesday! 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 are also having our chili cook off January 5th in Mcaleer hall at 12pm, bring your dish for a chance to win prizes or come to vote for your favorite!
We had a great time last week making Christmas Cards for the home-bound, we plan on making more cards next weekend because we need about 20 more cards, if we get 9 youth again like last week then we only need to make 2 cards each! (or better yet, bring more friends)! It was great to have new youth attending and we hope to have more next week! We enjoyed a clip from the movie Joseph and his dream coat as we prepare in this advent season for the coming of Jesus. Joseph was a prefiguration of Christ, and we discussed the parallels that can be seen from his life and the life of Christ. It also gave a good message of the importance of forgiveness and love. 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 will continue having youth group at 6pm Wednesday and 11:45am Sunday at McAleer Hall next Sunday for a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, fun games, and pizza- we are also planning a Christmas Kahoot and have some prizes and Christmas gifts... come and join us!
This Sunday's Theme: Vigilance
We had a great time last week preparing for the birth of Jesus! The scripture passage of being watchful in our spiritual life and ready for Christ’s second coming can be connected with 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.
December 6th we had a great time at the Christian Concert at St Vincent School in Keokuk!
This Sunday's Theme: NCYC!
We had a great time last weekend at our pilgrimage to the National Catholic Youth Conference! The fire of faith in our hearts increased because of all the work the Holy Spirit was able to do thanks to all your prayers. It was inspiring to see so many youth from around the United States and their love for our Lord Jesus Christ! We have many follow up events to continue to 'fan the flame' of our faith.
December 6th we have a Christian Concert at St Vincent School in Keokuk, contact Allie for more details at [email protected]diodav.org. We also have sign up sheets for our net TEC retreat. We decided to cancel the Christmas pageant because of the new venue this year, but more volunteer opportunities are available, come and sign up for them at youth group this Sunday!
This Sunday's Theme: Perseverance
We have some new basketballs for our games and had some great discussions! We discussed the importance of faith and perseverance, connecting it with the Sunday Gospel and how to cultivating a culture of life in our schools, families, and workplaces. Jesus describes the end times in the Gospel today and even if we are betrayed by family and friends, we need to remain faithful to Jesus to enjoy heaven with God forever. Many saints gave their lives and now enjoy their eternal reward for their moments of suffering. It is good to keep this eternal perspective when we are going through hard times and persecution, knowing that it will not last long will help us to endure the trials we are given. Also remembering hardships during the good times will help keep us grounded and not left on Mt Tabor like Peter, James and John after the transfiguration. St Paul was able to live this way as he writes to the Philippians: “I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.” (Phillippians 4:12)
Keep us in your prayers for our pilgrimage to Indiana for our National Catholic Youth Conference and enjoy the Christmas Bazaar! If anyone is interested in signing up their children for the Christmas pageant, or if older youth are interested in helping the younger ones, contact Allie at [email protected].
This Sunday's Theme: Trust
The theme this week was trust, we should be accountable and trustworthy in small matters as well as in great ones. We cannot love both God and money, we should always put God first, work hard and trust in God’s divine providence like the 7 brothers who were martyred for their faith in the first reading: "It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law. One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: "What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors." (2 Mc 7:1-2) Let us keep the NCYC youth in our prayers as we depart on our pilgrimage next week!
This Sunday's Theme: Vocation Week
We had a great time last Sunday making bible verse plaques and spiritual journals for our parish mission!!! 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 discussed other resources such as “And You Are Christ’s” by Thomas Dubay, explaining the vows that Religious take.
We raised $204 at our pancake fundraiser to support our youth attending the NCYC in Indiana this November. Thank you, Youth Group, for all your hard work at our fundraisers for NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference). We will continue having youth group after the 10:30 Mass at McAleer Hall next Sunday for a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, fun games, and pizza... come and join us!
This Sunday's Theme: Priesthood Sunday
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.”
We enjoyed God's portion day at HTC and will be having a free-will donation pancake fundraiser after the 8:30 Mass at Roling Hall November 3rd to support our youth attending the NCYC in Indiana.
Great job HTC youth winning our last volleyball game! Congratulations Matt Hellige for making it to state for cross country, your in our prayers!
This Sunday's Theme: Go and Make Disciples
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. We also connected the Lord of the Rings to the bible verse Ephesians 6:11!
We had a great time at our flashlight corn maze and youth bonfire making hot dogs and s'mores last Saturday!
We will continue having youth group after the 10:30 Mass at McAleer Hall next Sunday and Wednesday nights at 6pm for a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, fun games, and pizza... come and join us!
This Sunday's Theme: Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary
We connected the theme of this week's Gospel to the Rosary and Our Lady of Fatima’s messages. We also discussed the letter from the Vatican on the messages of Fatima by Tarcisio Bertone, SDB Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In St Louis de Montfort's book the Secret of the Rosary, there have been many people who give their testimonies of miraculous events occurring with the rosary (the only building left standing after the Hiroshima bombings was the monks praying the rosary). It is a beautiful gift from Mary as she holds us by the hand, taking us through the life of her Son. Through this meditative Christ-centered prayer, we are able to enter into deeper contemplation of the heart of Jesus and strengthened to be a better disciple of him. Many of the greatest Saints throughout history prayed the rosary often and had a strong devotion to Mary. Our Lady asks us to pray the rosary every day for peace and the conversion of sinners.
We will be having a youth bon-fire and corn maze October 19th after the 4pm Mass. A car pool will be leaving from Sacred Heart Church at 5:30pm for Harvestville.
This Sunday's Theme: Life Teen
We had a great time last Sunday discussing the right to life and going through out lifeteen resources!!! We discussed concrete ways we can spread the pro-life message is by promoting our March for life here in Fort Madison, praying the rosary, speaking with people we encounter at work and school about the dignity of each person and the primacy of love. We connected this with the scripture passages related to the dignity of each person and catechism of the Church: "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law" (No. 2271).Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church's opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person.
We will be having a youth bon-fire and corn maze October 19th after the 4pm Mass.
A car pool will be leaving from Sacred Heart Church at 5:30pm for Harvestville.
We will continue having youth group after the 10:30 Mass at McAleer Hall next Sunday and Wednesday nights at 6pm for a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, fun games, and pizza... come and join us!