Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I know. The day is past. It was a long day for me.

In class Tuesday, Sister began by asking us how we would handle this if we were DRE's or teaching somewhere. We had a great discussion. I was a little surprised at how many said they'd go right to prayer. I can tell you-that's not what we did.

That day we were scheduled to have a dance in the evening for middle schoolers. I was working in Southie at the time-and those horrible men had boarded a plane directly across the harbor from South Boston. Logan airport is in Eastie, which is just across from Southie.

I remember the trauma of that day and how shook up I was. They had been telling everyone who worked in the city but lived out in the 'burbs to go home, just in case. I ended up calling Fr Tom at the OYM and asking his advice.

We ended up not canceling the dance, per se, but when they showed up we gathered them in a circle, lights up, no music playing, etc. They were more squirly than usual, and I wondered if they even understood what has happened that day. They wanted to start the dance, I wanted to check in and see how they were doing.

As it turns out, we did some talking, and asked them how they were handling it all. Being the age that they were the boys were all bravado. Lots of swearing and threats towards the terrorist. They were nervous and anxious and I thought it was more important that they knew that we as "the church people" were available to them for whatever they needed.

We did pray, but then we proceeded with the dance. It was shorter, which they complained about, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Sister pointed out, and I agree, that in these kinds of situations, you have to attend to their human needs first. To go immediately to prayer is to gloss over their fears and anxieties. They may not be able to "just hand it over to God". Generally, people need to talk about such tragedies, question why, maybe even question God's love and protection. Eventually, however, it's also important to return to the business of life. Talk it out, say a prayer and get on with life. To dwell on it too much or not get into the mess of it would be the two extremes. I think in these situations you have to find that balence and go with it.


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