For some of the teens of our parish, it wouldn’t be summer without going to Prayer and Action! This amazing mission program was started here in the Salina Diocese by Fr. Gale Hammerschmidt and Sr. Barbara Apaceller in 2006. Each summer, our parish teens have the opportunity to join other teens in our diocese for a week of encountering Christ in each other, through prayer and in the work done for homeowners in need.
On Sunday, June 24, our Youth Minister, Rick Smith, led a group of 19 teens to Plainville. Parents/sponsors—Brian & Julie Ostermann, Christy Shaheen, Dcn Wayne Talbot, and myself—loaded our cars and even our visiting seminarian, Luke Friess, was able to make the trip!
We were greeted in Plainville by a great team of 3 seminarians and 3 college-age ladies who organized and led every aspect of our week. We met and made fast friends with 3 Oberlin guys, 14 Junction City kids, and their fantastic sponsors. We all spent the week eating, sleeping, praying, singing, dancing, and playing in Sacred Heart Grade School, as well as celebrating Mass, going to Confession, and praying the Rosary and Night Prayers in the church.
We were split into 5 crews, each assigned to a homeowner, and we spent each day scraping and painting their homes, pulling weeds and cleaning out flower beds, ministering to and praying with our homeowners, and talking, praying, and playing with one another. Serving these people in need made a great impact on their hearts as well as ours.
But the over-arching tone of this life-changing, deeply meaningful, sacred week is the love, peace, and joy that comes from Our Lord and Savior. Each teen and adult is able to participate in and enjoy the TREMENDOUS BLESSING OF GOD’S LOVE in the wonderful Utopian society that is created in this short week. Prayer and Action is a safe place to be oneself without being judged, be treated with kindness and respect, let go of cell phones and personalities, be silly and joy-filled, and share the light of Christ that is in each one of us!
~ Kelley Smith, Music Liturgist