Young saints armed with marshmallows

Young saints armed with marshmallows

Photo by Peter G. Sánchez

yya-webInfant Jesus, Woodbury Heights youth minister Jess Fahy reacts after being surprised with Silly String by her core team, during the parish’s Adventure Day retreat Sept. 1 in West Deptford, which saw youth get initiated as parish leaders, to pass on the faith to their peers.

WEST DEPTFORD – With a common mission and purpose, youth from Infant Jesus Parish, Woodbury Heights, gathered here Sept. 1 at Phifer’s Farm for a day-long retreat before they are sent out to spread Jesus’ message to their peers.
All summer long, 10 youth from Infant Jesus Parish have been meeting weekly, training for their role as ministers to other youth. Last Sunday’s Youth Life Adventure Day Retreat, facilitated by six young adult volunteers, saw the youth being “called to sainthood,” as the day’s theme suggested, through activities, speakers and prayer.
“We’re here to celebrate Christ and companionship,” said 15-year old Liam Pagan.
Starting at 9:30 a.m., the youth took part in a scavenger hunt and obstacle course; shot marshmallows at a target of the devil to get rid of one of their impediments to sainthood; and were inspired by the life stories of St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and Mother Dolores Hart, who gave up a successful acting career to enter the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut.
Dan Palmieri, youth minister at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Atco, also spoke to the youth.
Participants took time for prayer, with a rosary said by the pond, and a closing Mass at 6 p.m.
Their training over, the youth were inducted into the parish Youth Life team, signing scriptural covenants, and pledging to grow in holiness, support one another, and share the Gospel.
Throughout the summer, the 10 youth “grew stronger in their relationship with Christ,” said Jessica Fahy, youth minister for Infant Jesus.
“With this core team, I have a lot of hope for the future of the church,” she said. “I have confidence in them.”

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