Pope Francis has dedicated the upcoming 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is scheduled to take place October 3-28, 2018. It's theme is "Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment". We are proud that there are young people who are engaged today in Mission work for Jesus and HIS Church. We have included a mission update from Brennan Robinson who is a Mission Leader at the University of St Thomas-St Paul's Outreach Minnesota.
March 2018 Mission Report
Dear Fr. Tom and St Jerome's Parish,
I never thought I would enjoy 30 degree weather like I do now, probably because it is 30 degrees warmer than it has been. Nevertheless, as the Spring season begins to dawn, I am excited for leaves and green and life in general to return. I have loved and hated winter, yet because of it, I rejoice all the more in the coming of Spring. I suppose Lent and Easter are well timed.
This season of Lent has been filled with cold and dry moments, yet never without hope and expectation. I have been discussing with many students lately about our grasping and hungry hearts. How easy it is to feel our emptiness as humans, and seek to fill that void with empty things! Whether that be food, alcohol, relationships, money, it can be so easy to grab what is present before us and put it into the God-shaped hole in our hearts. But oh what a sight to see when someone has drunk from the fountain of life.
One of the Seniors in the house, Kuba, has been so alive of late. He has seen the truth of Lent clearly, that in putting off the lies and things that we try to fill ourselves with, we have a better capacity to be filled with Christ. He has become an example to his fellow seniors that you do not need alcohol to be intoxicated, but the elation of the Holy Spirit is the greatest of intoxications. The disciples were filled with the spirit during Pentecost and thought to be drunk, Acts 2:13-15: "Some however made fun of them and said, they have had too much wine." I love Peter's reply, Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: 'Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!" Haha! Yes that we would begin our day intoxicated with the love of God, so that all might wonder at our joy and elation; and while they wait for the shadow of night to drink their fill, we begin in the light of morning with the joy of the Lord!
Just recently we had our biggest retreat yet, almost 250 people! It was about living as Children of God by the power of His Holy Spirit within us. I spoke to one student, Lucas, who said he was surprised by the life and joy that this community walked in. He was used to his older brother's friends and his fraternity and said that he never felt known, and always felt a spirit of fear. He was taken back by our aliveness and has applied to be in our household program. Another student, Jake, stood up in front of the 250 students and described his experience in prayer, closing his eyes and seeing fire, feeling the fire of love that is the spirit of God. Another student, Viet, said that he had carried around a darkness and depression and after having been prayed over, has been freed of that and has felt joy for the first time in years.
It is easy to think that the winter is forever, especially in Minnesota, but I have come to see more and more that only God's love is forever, and especially in the dark and dry times, He is tenaciously pouring himself out for us who are empty and grasping. And then we who were once dead, are brought to life in Christ, and the world wonders as we love even in the darkest of winters.
Lastly, I want you to know how grateful I am for your generosity. I hope this letter will give you a taste of what your provision has born in my life and in the life of the students here. As I strive to pray for you, please pray for me and this community. Holy Week is approaching quickly, so keep us in your heart as we seek to follow Christ to his cross, and rise with him in his glorious resurrection!
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following it's desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Esphesians 2:1-10)
Here are some pictures of Fan into Flame and this semester so far. Enjoy!
*Brennan Robinson, Mission Leader, University of St Thomas-St Paul's Outreach, Minnesota
Prayers and Devotions