Pastor’s Keyboard: Where in the world is Fr Scott this week? I seemed to hear people say. Last week, I was with over thirty kids from our youth group and their parents on our annual Youth Group Ski Trip. Which would have been impossible without the generosity of two parishioners who every year let us borrow their beautiful homes up in Canaan Valley, WV, the parents who cooked meals, chaperoned the various excursions, and drive loads of kids in their vehicles up to the mountains and back. This was our new youth minister’s first major trip after only a few weeks in the position. He did an awesome job, and all had a wonderful time.
This year’s group of kids were very impressive not only by their very good behavior but especially their love of prayer. We had daily Mass with the backdrop of a wall of glass behind which was a snow-covered forest. We had daily Holy Hour which all entered into with great devotion. Many of them choose to spend most of it kneeling on the floor, some bent over with heads to the floor (in what looked like a very uncomfortable position) with a desire to show love and respect to our Eucharistic Lord.
What also impressed me were how many of them choose to also pray the Liturgy of the Hours which is prayed by priests, monks, and nuns all over the world. As a diocesan priest, I made a promise to practice this devotion for the church five times a day. Whenever I was going to pray it, I invited anyone who wanted to join to come and pray, it was so optional, yet for the first time in ten or eleven years of doing these trips every kid and most parents joined me in praying: Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. It was beautiful. Pretty soon it was the kids asking me, “Is it time to pray Morning Prayer yet?” or asking about praying one of the other times.
The youth had a chance to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, the beauty of nature, and in one another. This week, I’m at Sacred Heart in La Plata giving a parish mission while Fr. Swink gives our parish mission at St Peter Claver. I hope everyone from all the parishes in the area will come out to listen to this very dynamic, Spirit filled priest of God. Pray that God may use me as a good vessel to the people of La Plata. And I look forward to seeing you when I return on Thursday for Mass. God bless you and keep you.
Your spiritual Brother and Father,