My Final Youth Ministry Trip

I just returned from my final youth group trip.  And, boy did I pick a doozy to be the last chapter in my tenure as youth minister.  It was a mission trip…that was the longest trip we’ve done…and, it had some interesting challenges to it.

Here’s the thing – it’s a mission trip.  If you don’t know what being on “mission” means, you need to do some research before you commit to going.  I am not saying I don’t know – I’ve been on mission before.  But, in case you haven’t, here are some things you should expect.
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I’m More Catholic Than You

“It is dangerous to make everyone go forward by the same road, and worse to measure others by yourself.”  (St. Ignatius of Loyola)


Dear Fellow Good, Practicing Catholics,

Please stop trying to “out-Catholic” others all the time.

I get it, you know the faith really well.  You’ve read some (or maybe many) books and watched some faith-based shows and movies.  You’ve heard some great speakers and been on some highly spiritual retreats.  You’ve had deep encounters with God and maybe have a deep understanding of one thing or another.  Perhaps there’s someone in your family with religious vocation or you are good friends with a priest or a nun.

Maybe you are able to get to daily Mass.  Or have a daily Holy Hour.  Perhaps you serve the Church in some form of ministry.  Possibly you have a deep devotion to Mary or one (or many) of the saints.  Novenas might be a regular form of prayer for you or perhaps you never miss praying your daily rosary.

Uh-oh! I made a joke about holiness...i must not be very Catholic!

You might be an activist who stands outside of Planned Parenthood every Saturday morning to pray for the end of abortions.  Or, maybe you write letters to your congressmen on a regular basis trying to get laws changed.  Maybe you vehemently oppose all things secular or use Facebook as a platform to preach the word of God.

And, every one of those things are good and noble.  But, they don’t make you a “better” Catholic than everyone else.

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Bulldozing Lioness

Personality.  We all have it.  Some are as spicy as habanero peppers.  Others as mild as Downy softener.  Some hard as nails, others soft as clouds.  I was once told by a nun, “We can’t all be dainty flowers.  God needs His bulldozers, too.”  And, a priest informed me that I am “a lot like a lioness.”

Ah, The Far Side does it again!

If you don’t know me, ask anyone who knows me – those two statements are pretty accurate.  Or, you could just read a blog or two of mine.  I’m not exactly timid.

I am comfortable and happy with who God has made me to be thus far.  When I was young, though, I went through many years of wishing and trying to be someone else.  I was trying to come to terms with who I was and how that would work in the world.  I didn’t understand that God didn’t make me “wrong” or that I wasn’t less than other people.  Thankfully, I got over all that and am generally pleased with the outcome.

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