Gather to Witness

January 11, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Since the summer of 2021, I have been to summer camp with our parish three times. One thing that has impressed me about camp is how lively the kids are. They jump right into camp activities and bond well with one another. Whether that be rock climbing for the first time, fishing with Fr. Paul, or spending time together at the lake, they are full of life throughout the week.

What caught my attention the most was how well they entered into prayer. For many of the middle schoolers, it was their first time experiencing the Catholic faith away from their parents or school, and it was cool because they got to choose it for themselves. Even the more reserved ones or the ones “too cool” to pray would eventually enter in. Every morning after breakfast, they would learn about different ways to pray. Mass was celebrated every day, so the middle schoolers got to experience going to daily mass for a week. The evening program gave the kids an opportunity to enjoy time together and to learn about the truth of God’s love for them through testimonies and skits. Adoration is by far my favorite part, especially as I see the campers encounter our Lord and see Him coming to them. There is Jesus! Present in the Eucharist!

This year we are going to Extreme Faith Camp. This camp is similar to, but different from Catholic Youth Summer Camp, which we have gone to these past two years. However, our parish has a long history of attending Extreme Faith Camp beginning in the early 2000s! One of the strengths of the EFC model is that it calls high schoolers into leadership roles. As they had fun and encountered Jesus during their time at camp as middle schoolers, they now get to accompany the middle schoolers and help them to encounter Christ. We are excited that with Extreme Faith Camp, we can bring more high schoolers and adults along to help lead camp and create those encounter moments! Experiencing camp together as a larger community–middle schoolers, high schoolers, adults, youth ministers, and priests—can impact our whole parish community! See below for information on how to register your middle schooler. Registration for high school and adult leaders will be coming soon!

Yours in Christ,
Father Joseph
Parochial Vicar