Investing In Our Youth

By Fr. Paul Shovelain

In the summer of 2001, I was struggling. I had just completed my 7th-grade year in a new school, where I struggled with friendships and academics. I was frustrated and searching for my identity. The Holy Spirit inspired 3 youth ministers to put together a powerful camp that summer called Extreme Faith Camp. I was blessed to attend that camp and encountered the Lord in a powerful way. I had learned a lot about God through my Catholic education and my family’s regular participation in Sunday Mass and parish life. Yet, the Lord drew me in deeper that summer and showed me that my identity rested in him. I was his beloved son! He loved me not because of my friendships, grades, or athletic ability, but he loved me for me! So many things change in the world, school, friendships, grades, etc. However, his love is unchanging!

Here I am 20 years later and I am looking forward to attending Extreme Faith Camp for the 7th time as a priest. It is a highlight for me every year. The Lord continues to work powerfully through the camp. The Middle Schoolers experience the love of Christ through the High School Students and adults that put it on. The Sacraments are a vital part of the camp as the participants receive the Sacrament of Confession and attend daily Mass. There are many other fun and team-building activities that make camp a highlight of the summer for many, many youth.

This weekend you will hear about Youth365, our annual fundraiser that helps our youth have the life-changing experience that I had. Your support helps our parish families afford these important opportunities for their children to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ. Please take an envelope this weekend and return it with the amount that you pledge. You are welcome to donate electronically as well. Thank you for living out of generous spirit and letting the light of Christ shine through you!

In addition to Extreme Faith Camp, we will be having Totus Tuus here the week of July 11-16 for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. We will also be having Vacation Bible School that week for 3-6 year olds that week. To register, click here. Also, this summer I am working with Matt Birk, former MN Viking, on a Faith and Football Camp, August 10-12. We are still working out the details but watch for more information in future communications.