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Off to Work Camp They Go!

Today my daughter will join 500 other teens for a week at the Diocesan Work Camp. They will be repairing homes of the needy in rural Orange, Virginia. They will give up their cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices for an entire week. My older boys also participated in this program and found it to be extremely valuable. I think it is so important for young people to put a human face on the poor and needy. They need to see beyond the name of the charitable organization to which they donate money. They need to look into the eyes of those in need and see Christ. In addition to doing construction projects, the work campers will spend their evenings attending Mass, in Eucharistic Adoration, going to Confession, and listening to many inspiring speakers. Our bishop, Bishop Loverde, wrote a nice reflection on this project in this week’s Catholic Herald.

This is not always easy. The youth of today confront enormous pressures — pressures I could not even imagine when I try to compare them with my own childhood. Today, our youth face the temptations of materialism, drugs, alcohol, pornography and physical intimacy, to name but a few. Yet by their courageous and faith-filled lives, they exhibit great hope. Next week, this inspiring group of young people will build not only ramps and walls, but solid foundations for lives committed to Jesus Christ, and to all those He came to reveal divine mercy and love, especially to the poor and the needy.

Please keep these young people in your prayers.


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