Bulletin Article – December 31, 2023

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

Growing in Faith

by Ruth Pera, Faith Formation Coordinator

Next weekend at the 10:00 a.m. Mass, we will have the opportunity to hear from several of our Youth Ministry members who participated in the Archdiocesan Solidarity at the Border trip in November, 2023. These young women requested the opportunity to share their experiences with our parish community who have formed and supported them over the years. In preparation for their stories, we offer this reflection from sophomore Molly Schiltz.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to see the Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico border with the SMOS Youth Group. While it was an enjoyable trip I had with friends, it was also a truly moving experience that opened my eyes to the challenges and dangers of being an immigrant. We had the honor of speaking with multiple refugees throughout our stay, including Efren, a DACA recipient, and people staying in a refugee shelter. I was struck throughout all the conversations by their unfaltering kindness. I could see, in the faces of everyone I met, the face and love of God. Alongside the look into the struggles of immigration, we were able to see the natural wonders surrounding the border. For me, the two most impactful parts of the trip were the hike and mass we had on top of Mt. Cristo Rey, as well as the mass we held across the border. During the Mt. Cristo Rey hike, it was jarring to look out on the beautiful landscape and see the line of the border wall stretching on as far as you could see. And during the border mass, being able to see Catholics so similar to myself and yet in an entirely different world. Ten feet away from where I stood, praying and singing with me, but worlds apart. Throughout both masses , I kept being reminded of the fact that we are one. No wall can make any person less human. We are all one in the image, likeness, and love of God. As it says in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-13, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.“ ‭‭(1 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬-‭13‬ ‭NABRE‬‬)

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