by Bill Scholl
As parents, we teach our kids the faith, but when they become teens, it can be hard to help them “get it.”
This is especially true regarding the social justice aspects of the Catholic faith. Teens look to their culture and peers to evaluate their worldview. Sadly, because of a media culture that strives to form youth into self-centered consumers seeking validation and happiness from brands, pleasure, and wealth, it is especially hard for parents to help their kids see the infinitely greater value and validation that comes from a friendship with God. As Christians, we need community. And until we experience Christ in that context, we can’t quite “get it” — or for that matter, “get him.” For teens, this means they need to experience Christ in the context of being with fellow teens by serving and praying alongside one another. The archdiocesan office for social justice is proud to help offer the Prayer and Action mission trip here in the archdiocese for the third year in a row.
Prayer and Action is a local mission trip that enables teens to experience Christ through meditative prayer, Mass and the sacraments, works of charity, and authentic Christian fellowship that happens to be a lot of fun. Because this mission occurs in the archdiocese, costs remain low and scholarships are available. This year, Prayer and Action will serve Topeka and will be hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
This summer’s ministry will focus on the various communities of the Topeka urban core, providing for those most in need. This is done by the laboring hands and the open hearts of high school students and their adult leaders. The most important aspect of Prayer and Action is evangelizing and inspiring youth: the fruit of their prayer and labor.
Prayer and Action sessions last five days, with students arriving on Sunday evening and staying until Friday morning. Throughout the week, teens paint, clean, do yard work, and perform other meaningful tasks for the poor, disabled, and elderly. Teens will spend the week in an atmosphere that is free of distractions, which will foster their faith, inspire charity, and lead them closer to Christ. The experience will also allow them to get to know other high school students from other parts of the archdiocese who share their Catholic faith. Prayer and Action is led by a team of our seminarians and dynamic Catholic women. This team and parish adult leaders work with teens at each site. In the evenings, teens experience Collatio, the retreat portion of Prayer and Action. Collatio is perhaps the most important part of the day as the students play, worship, and grow together in Jesus Christ.
Prayer and Action is happening the four weeks of June. To learn more or to register, go online to: www. archkck.org/prayerandaction kc.