In 1 Timothy 4:12 St. Paul tells Timothy, "Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." This week at Manus Christi our youth set an example, living up to St. Paul's instructions. Every project at every work-site was completed and done so with a great amount of care and love. We have much to be proud of when it comes to the Young Church. Today was our last full day here in West Virginia. Today started much like how last night ended, in the chapel in adoration. This morning was different in that the candles were not lit, the sacrament was not exposed and we were in the light of day. Shawn Madden, the director of Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center, gave an insightful reflection on what it means to come back down from the mountain top and how to keep the fire that was started here going when we get back home. We finished up work at each site. Some jobs included working on the farm while others were a little more messy by installing insulation under a home. This evening included a closing Mass and one last camp-fire. Tomorrow we will hit the road for the journey home and we can't wait to share our stories with everyone.
Today was day three of our Manus Christi experience and it was truly joy filled. Our day started in the chapel with Liturgy of the Hours. Our morning prayers powered us at our work-sites which included the farm, Catholic charities and multiple residents homes. Every work crew not only completed their tasks but finished almost an hour early. We took advantage of the extra break time to make an excursion to Kumbrabow State Forest which covers nearly 10,000 acres of beautiful Appalachia. While there a few of us zipped up our life vests and took the plunge down Mill Creek Falls. It was a fun filled adventure in the splendor of God's creation. Tonight we lost ourselves in the presence of Christ during a moving and marvelous time of Adoration. It's almost hard to believe that so much good can be packed into one day but then again, nothing is impossible with God.
Not unlike Murphy's law, when one seeks to do good in the name of God, be sure that the devil isn't far behind trying to prevent it from happening. Unfortunately this morning one of our students came down ill. The Holy Spirit intervened and took a negative moment and made it into something beautiful. Anne, the director of Manus Christi explained it best to our youth when she said, "living in Christian community means knowing when you're called to serve and accepting the times when you need to be served." Today began with relying on the help of our Mother Mary. We took part in the Rosary and Luminous mysteries. Some of us finished a roofing project from yesterday and others worked here on the farm. The evening centered around a bon-fire on the side of the mountain. We reflected on the origins of the word sacrament and the way grace can change us. A beautiful sunset, a breeze through the trees, a crackling fire and most importantly prayer is not a bad way to end a truly blessed day.
PS. Our Ill student has remained upbeat and is almost back to 100%. Thank you for your prayers!
Today was our first day heading out to the work-sites. Before we could do that, we prepared ourselves with morning prayer which consisted of Lectio Devina. We learned our theme song for the week which is Fix Our Eyes by For King and Country. the Lord blessed the crews all day long with blue skies and a refreshing breeze which was especially helpful considering most of the jobs were roofing projects. We also had a group work at the local Catholic Charities. In the evening we learned about the first pillar of Catholic Social Teaching, Person-hood. Check out what Sarah had to say about the day and please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Picture this, it's 2:00 am and in the Mazzuchelli Center parking lot a group of students and chaperones jam pack a car with their luggage, say a quick prayer for safe travel and then hit the road for a 14 hour trek. Does it sound unrealistic? Not at all because that's exactly what we did for the second straight year. After the long journey we arrived safely at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville West Virginia, our home for the next week. We had Mass in the chapel and then chowed down in the dining hall. Shortly after we broke into the crews we would be serving with to find out what projects were on deck for the following day. The evening closed with night prayer and snacks. Although weary from the drive, spirits remained high. Sleep was a welcomed friend. This morning the work begins...