Maura Owen O’Boyle, 13, is from the Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley. She helped carry the parish’s banner during the Oct. 14 Mass with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., that officially kicked off the Year of Youth. Following is a reflection from the Year of Youth Mass and Fest.
By Maura Owen O’Boyle
I was delighted to be among 1,000 participants. I was proud to join other representative youth of the three churches [St. Alphonsus, St. George and St. James] that compose the Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley with the delegations from so many other parishes and schools.
I felt a sense that we were participating in something that will affect all the diocesan parish communities. It was a joyful event. It is important to note that the Bishop, Pope Francis and the Church have chosen to recognize the important role of youth in the Church.
I have learned that I can do something to honor God in my own parish. As a youth, I can offer honor and praise to God by participating in the Sacraments and liturgies, church community activities, CCD preparation for Confirmation and many other ways. I am an altar server, and I have many other opportunities [to participate in faith functions] by [being] a greeter, usher, lector, a volunteer at Our Lord’s Table [our cookout meal for the soup kitchen attendees at Sacred Heart Church, Trenton], a cantor, choir member, a hospitality member or even a part of the crew for our parish picnics, pot luck dinners, etc.
We are individuals and are blessed with different skills. There are opportunities for everyone. We receive joy when we give to others. We do not have to travel to some distant mission – we can choose to serve God in our own, families, schools, parishes and communities.