Fr. Simon Says...
Greetings Faithful Parishioners in Christ,
We are having a great time with our young and youth disciples in both parishes. We are all excited to join in this mission adventure as we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We had a couple new young and youth disciples answer God’s call to come to our mission sessions this past week. We even have non-Catholic Christian high school disciples in Onida answering the call to be in our high school mission sessions!
Our two parishes are offering youth disciples in grades 9 – 12 (confirmed or not) one combined mission area made up of both parishes with one mission team lead directly by me. I am trying to provide as much personal opportunity as possible for youth disciples to have personal interaction with their parish priest and our new mission team. So, this is relational youth ministry, not just religious education, that seeks to make and form youth disciples and to equip them with what they need to be faithful adult disciples of Christ. We will be able to begin combining high school sessions next Wednesday, September 15th in Onida when I will be there. This Wednesday, September 8th our high school youth will meet separately in their respective parishes.
We will alternate locations for grades 9 - 12 starting next Wednesday, September 15th, since I have to alternate locations for the sake of all of our young and youth disciples. The parents will be responsible for getting their young disciples to the location for that particular Wednesday by 6:45 pm. (Please note the new start time!) For convenience, the respective church parking lot will be available for carpooling. Both school systems are willing to release their Catholic student athletes by 5:45 pm.
We'll have to wait and see how COVID-19 goes. We have room to social distance in both locations as needed. Nobody has to have close interaction for more than a couple minutes. For Faith formation to work through personal human relationships, we have to meet physically, except for serious reasons. The decision to physically participate alwaysremains with the parents. We will provide home resources as needed for the parents.
I understand travel will not work for some families for various reasons, including winter travel. We have a less effective alternative available, if needed for serious reasons, provided we have adult volunteers. Youth disciples will be able to participate by Zoom from either location or from their homes.
We had wonderful Opening Masses in both parishes! Thank you to all of you who were able to participate.
I have been aware that I have not been available as much as I should be due to having to get YFF started in both parishes. I can get too focused on something and lose sight of the big picture. Please be patient with me and my limitations as I will be with you. I appreciate reminders and help with organization. I ask all parishioners to pray for me, our staff, our volunteers and for all aspects of our parishes and to have patience and forgiveness for one another.