Parish youth take the lead in Divine Mercy celebration

Photo by Peter G. Sánchez
Kortnie Cinkowski, a member of the Saint Mary of Mount Carmel youth group, reads a passage from the Diary of Saint Faustina last Sunday during a Divine Mercy celebration in Hammonton.

HAMMONTON — As the gathered here at Saint Joseph Church (Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Parish) gazed on the Blessed Sacrament on Divine Mercy Sunday this past weekend, 16 year-old-Kyle Delessio sat up on the piano bench and began to play the first notes of “I Can Only Imagine.”

He had only begun practicing for this moment six days earlier, after he and his parish youth group saw the movie of the same name, which recounted the origins of the MercyMe song, the best-selling Christian single of all time.

“I went on YouTube, looked up the chords,” Delessio said matter-of-factly.  Accompanied by guitarist Tommy Doyle, a talented musician in his own right, the two performed a worthy rendition of the tearjerker.

Having played the piano since he was 5, this was evidently Delessio’s biggest stage yet.

The same could be said of his fellow youth group at Saint Mary of Mount Carmel April 8, as the first youth-led parish event kicked off to commemorate Divine Mercy Sunday and reflect on the Lord’s promise of merciful love as told to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.

The event, which in addition to adoration, included readings from Saint Faustina’s diary and the Divine Mercy chaplet, was “the best gift we could give back to the parish community, for all their support for the youth. We wanted to deliver them a spiritual celebration,” said Kimberly Pesotski, parish youth minister.

For the past few weeks leading up to the evening, Pesotski guided her youth in an understanding of Divine Mercy and the life and writings of Saint Faustina.

“Divine Mercy gives us hope, and strengthens us for the journey,” knows Joe Barberio, president of the youth group’s Lead Team.