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Finding the Spark in Youth Ministry

Lily Rozeski (pictured first row, second from the right) with friends from St. Maria Goretti’s Youth Ministry and the Diocese of Madison.

Finding the Spark in Youth Ministry

By Lily Rozeski, Youth Ministry Participant

Growing up in a devout Catholic family, I have always considered myself having a relationship with Christ. Although, as I began high school, I realized that my faith was not very deep. I realized that in order to keep my faith alive, I would have to put in the effort.

During high school, finding new friends seemed most important. One of the first things I did, Freshman year, was join Women’s Club. I participated in this club to make new friends, although it supported things I disagreed with. I didn’t speak up or say anything, because I wanted to fit in with these girls. I felt so lost. It didn’t seem like there was a place to be Catholic and to have these friends. I felt like I had to choose one or the other.

Throughout this time, I was still going to Mass every Sunday with my family and attending Confirmation Class every Sunday night, but I was questioning everything. I knew my relationship with Christ was suffering. If everyone’s faith is a fire in their souls, mine was some lukewarm coals.

One day, at the beginning of Sophomore year, I got a text from my friend telling me about Youth Group at St. Maria Goretti. I decided to go. After that, I looked forward to our meetings every week. The intimacy and comfort that we felt in that room—with each other as well as with God—was indescribable. Our youth minister presented the faith in a way that I really needed. She explained the faith, by describing what we believe and why we believe it. She left it open-ended, always encouraged us, but never forced these beliefs on us.

The more I went to Youth Group, the more confident I became in my original beliefs. At Youth Group, I had the opportunity to hear other people affirming my beliefs and morals. I didn’t have to pretend to be someone that I’m not or believe in something that I don’t believe in.

Now, Jesus is very present in my life. I realize that I am not perfect, and my relationship with Christ is constantly growing as well as the fire in my soul, but I feel confident enough in myself and in my faith that I can turn to Him whenever I need to. This feeling has been a long time coming. I know that there is more effort that I will have to put in, but I am willing to work for this amazing relationship with Jesus and I encourage everyone to do the same.

My favorite time to pray is during Eucharistic Adoration. In Adoration, I sit in the presence of Christ and just talk to Him. John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As long as you know Jesus, you can be confident in the Truth. Follow the Truth of Christ. The Truth you know in your soul. Jesus wants to spark the flame of your soul. The Truth is the logs of your fire. Let it burn.

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