ADAMS: Young people evangelizing by witness as deed
April 10, 2018
Called Generation Z, today’s youth are often viewed as the most tech savvy culture.
They do not remember a time without the internet. They are often labeled as the anti-social generation who are never without their smart phones.
They are also the generation who are not afraid to speak out against injustice. They see the importance of diversity, creativity, and love for their fellow man.
Our young Catholic brothers and sisters of this generation understand the Gospel is not just to read, but it must be lived.
Generation Z understand to be a true witness of the faith, they need to reach out and participate in the life, mission, and work of the Church as young disciples.
This was very prevalent at the 2018 Archdiocesan Junior High Youth Rally held on Feb. 24 at Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church in The Woodlands.
Over 700 junior high youth and adults from throughout the Archdiocese gathered together under the theme “Faithful and Fearless”, which is based on Luke 1:30, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Youth were called to follow Mary’s example to serve humbly and faithfully without fear. Along with great prayer experiences, workshops, and a keynote from national speaker Cooper Ray, throughout the day youth were able to participate in various onsite service projects.
Each service project was based on scripture from the Old and the New Testament. Youth would then discuss how each person could do their part to help those in need and to witness the Gospel to others through our actions.
Projects for this year’s rally ranged from exploring hunger by making sandwiches for brown bag lunches for the day laborers at Casa Juan Diego to making rosaries for those in the Catechumenate in their parishes’ RCIA program.
At the end of the day, youth were then challenged to continue their actions of service back in their homes, parishes, and schools by following the examples of the saints they were introduced to during the rally.
The saints were faithful and fearless in their faith through their deeds in helping to spread the Gospel message.
The junior high participants were also able to see faith in action by the high school members of the Archdiocesan Youth Council, who assisted in the planning of the event. The council members lead the service projects, skits and prayer experiences while demonstrating to the junior high youth how the young church can go forth and serve to help build the Kingdom.
These young people continue to model and inspire their younger peers to share their faith not just in words, but also in their actions.
Randy L. Adams is an associate director of the Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization.