This past Saturday, I had confirmation at St. Agnes in Greenport. It was a beautiful day, a lovely setting and some 24 ninth graders were confirmed at the parish Saturday Vigil Mass. On the way out east, I stopped at St. Joseph Parish in Babylon. The Youth Ministry led by Marianne Sheridan, supported by Deacon Francsico Cales and the youth leaders of many of our parishes had organized an all day event for the young people of our diocese.

It was awesome! The organization was extraordinary. The Parish Center was transformed into a multi-media, multi-experience center of spirituality. There were lines of youngsters going to the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. There were a series of “holy places” where one could pray, ponder, meditate and act in response to the Gospel, the teaching of Jesus, the call of the Church.

As you moved through various moments like the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the meaning of the cross to resolutions about how to live as a disciple in the Church, this mini pilgrimage ended with entry into a chapel to pray before the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration. I had a chance to greet and chat with many of the young people who were there, some in the corridors, others in them lunch room or moving on to one or other of the day’s opportunities. All were happy and enthusiastic. All were healthy and joyful young men and women.

I could not stay for the Mass at the close of the day but I did leave grateful to God for the opportunities Marianne and her colleagues provide for our young people and grateful for the outpouring of life and hope that were being generated by young and vibrant men and women, single, married, some students, others beginning their careers, but all on fire with the love of Christ and all committed to living as His Church here on Long Island.

Click here for pictures from this event!