At first glance, it appeared confirmation students at Maternity BVM Parish and their high school leaders were wearing T-shirts with the Coca-Cola logo on them. A closer look revealed a different slogan contained in the familiar white script lettering on red background: Enjoy Jesus Christ: Thou Shalt Not Thirst.
Sure enough, the shirts and their clever wording underscored the theme of the retreat, which took place Sunday.
Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, celebrated the opening Mass, with Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, Pastor, and Br. John Eustice, CSV, also participating in the day. But it was the number of high school students who turned out to help that made the day so impactful.
“Look at all the wonderful people who are helping prepare our confirmation students, especially these great high school students who gave up their day to help with our confirmation retreat,” staff members said on the parish Facebook page.
Young people at the parish are used to participating in the liturgies. They plan a family Mass every month. Similarly, they helped with all parts of the Mass on Sunday — as lectors, musicians, singers and ushers — and moderating group discussions and activities during the retreat.
This kind of collaboration between pastoral leaders and young people dates back to the beginning of the Viatorian Community, as expressed in its vision statement: “As Viatorians, in the spirit of our founder, Fr. Louis Querbes, we minister to and with young people in the Church and are committed to their faith development and active membership in their respective faith communities.”
At the same time, this interactive, confirmation retreats advances one of the main priorities of the Viatorian Community, which is building up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.