“We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, sure and steadfast, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf!” -Hebrews 6:19-20
Happy Easter season to each and every one of you!! Our time of sorrow is through, and it is time to celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead, Alleluia! We have been working hard here in the Twin Cities day after day to relentlessly pursue the young people of this area and bring them to a greater knowledge of Christ. Between retreats, NET nights (nights with the St. Joseph’s middle school in West St. Paul, MN), Lifelines, Gatherings, and DOXA Events (nights of adoration with praise and worship), we are well over 100 retreats/ministry days. Read more
In New Ulm, MN, we finally are able to go outside again with the students. It is really nice to go on walks outside with students or play Frisbee or football. Spring sports are also starting and we are all excited to watch softball and baseball games in nice weather. Read more
We have officially put on over 100 retreats. God is so good! It is mind blowing to our entire team that we have made it to the three digit mark. Time has gone by too quickly. We are savoring each moment that we still have left. There have been so many graces received and given this year. During this time of the year, our team is especially in need of the Lord’s graces, as it is easy to become tired and think too much of how quickly the year will come to an end. As our time with NET slowly winds down, we have been focusing especially on finishing the race strong. It is hard to comprehend that we have served with NET for 8 months already and only have a month left. As a team we are striving to keep our mission in the forefront, knowing that there are still so many youth that need to hear the truth and be told that they are loved by an awesome God. Read more
In the last month, Team 2 has visited Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, where we’ve been welcomed by generous host families and parish contacts. We have now done 87 retreats. In the midst of retreats, our team was given the opportunity to take a day out for our own retreat put on for us by NET alumna Stephanie, who encouraged us not to give up on our daily call to holiness, even in the midst of trial. Read more
As the NET year is coming to a close we are starting to reflect on what the Lord has blessed us with this year while serving him on a parish team in Chanhassen Minnesota. Team 8 would like to let you all know the main thing that the Lord has taught each of us this year. I think we can all say that whether in big or small ways, serving with NET this year has changed our lives forever and we would like to tell all of you how God has worked in our hearts and lives this year. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.
Hello, there! This is Sarah, Corey, Amanda, Jimmy, Mike, Catherine, Damian, and Martha from Team 12 at Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota coming at you with another blog post. We are all doing well, and can’t wait to share our news with you. April is here!
This year, the month of April promises many things, including but not limited to:
We have led 69 retreats so far and have stayed in more than 50 different homes. One host family in particular has generously taken the twelve of us into their home more than eleven times over the last seven months. They are NET alumni and met while serving with NET, fell in love, and are happily married with six kids. We were shocked the first time we met them because they knew our names already.
Spring greetings from NET Team 5! Finally we can enjoy the sun and the 60 degree weather we have been having up here in Forest Lake, MN. Well to begin we have extremely exciting news – Sam is back with the team! On March 7th the team went to the Lifeline Mass at the NET Center and came home with him! We are overjoyed that he is back and our team is whole once again. Other than that exciting news this month has been full of celebration for the team. This month alone we celebrated Bernie’s, Mackenzie’s, Isaac’s, and my (Erika’s) birthdays! There has been a lot of cake.
Greetings once again from California!
Team 7 has given over 100 retreats in 15 different states. We have been in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, one of the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. We have hugged Sequoia trees in Calaveras National Forest, driven up the side of a 6,000-foot mountain (Lake Arrowhead), visited Huntington and Mission Point beaches, and been to a number of the valleys in California.
Do you ever feel like you want to begin a new chapter in your life? Or maybe start new habits and break old ones? It is easy to say that we want our lives to change for the better and fully embrace the way God made us to be, but how many times do we fall short or become discouraged and give up on a life-long goal? Well, congratulations – you are a human being!
IF ANYONE WISHES TO COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF, PICK UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME.” Matthew 16:24
“You have successfully opened my eyes in ways nobody has ever been able to do before. For you I am eternally grateful.” – Nicholas (a retreatant), 13 years old
Throughout Lent we have had plenty of opportunities to pick up our crosses as a team. With the most challenging time we’ve spent on the road thus far – with sickness, major van troubles, teammates having to take time off the road, and a crazy schedule – it has been a lot to persevere through. But crucially, what we’ve realized is that it is impossible to receive that kind of feedback on our retreats, without also picking up our crosses.
Team 4 has been loving the warm weather and sun which Arizona and Nevada have to offer. In the past month, we have been serving in the Las Vegas and Phoenix dioceses, and we’ve been absolutely taken by the beauty of these areas. We’ve been given the opportunity to climb Mount Cristo Rey in New Mexico, sight see in Las Vegas, meet NET alumni from three different states, and connect with another ministry group from Montana. Team 4 has been blessed with 73 retreats, 3890 retreatants, and 61 hours of driving.
Those of us on Team 12 have committed nine months to the community of Providence Academy. This Lent, Team 12 can be summed up in a quotation from Pope Francis’ exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel: Joy adapts and changes but it always endures, even as a flicker of light borne of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.
WAIT FOR THE LORD; BE STRONG AND LET YOU HEART TAKE COURAGE; YES, WAIT FOR THE LORD.” PSALM 27:14
Lent: the perfect season for Team 13 to practice waiting. Not only have we been waiting to celebrate the Lord’s death and Resurrection, but lately here in Plano we’ve also had to wait for a lot of earthly matters.
THOUGH YOUTHS GROW WEARY AND TIRED, AND VIGOROUS YOUNG MEN STUMBLE BADLY, YET THOSE WHO WAIT FOR THE LORD WILL GAIN NEW STRENGTH; THEY WILL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS LIKE EAGLES, THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GET TIRED, THEY WILL WALK AND NOT BECOME WEARY.” Isaiah 40:30-31
There is nothing quite like watching your breath rise in plums in front of you as you take gulps of the cold air into your lungs and clutch the hitch in your side caused from laughter. Even better is the feeling of looking up to see your team spread out around an empty church parking lot laughing, dodging the snowballs being flung at them by the rest of the team. This is one thing our stay in Virginia has had in store for us. After we left Louisiana we head into more snowy country and have been traveling around the Virginia area.
SHOW ME YOUR HANDS. DO THEY HAVE SCARS FROM GIVING? SHOW ME YOUR FEET. ARE THEY WOUNDED IN SERVICE? SHOW ME YOUR HEART. HAVE YOU LEFT A PLACE FOR DIVINE LOVE?“ -Venerable Fulton Sheen
As the Home Team ministering in Minnesota where NET was born, we have the unique opportunity to minister to young people who are preparing for their confirmations through Confirmation Retreat Weekends (CRWs) at the NET Center. Every couple of weeks we take a break from our normal retreat life to do these weekend-long retreats. They are an opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet in a new way. They leave us exhausted, but so grateful.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the CRW to end all retreats. It blew our minds and our hearts as a team, and now, we want to share that story with you.
A few weeks ago our religion teacher told us that she was requiring us to attend a NET retreat in combination with a few other parishes. I’m almost positive everyone in the room sighed, saying they didn’t want to. We all knew it was going to be a long night, and besides, we weren’t going to know anyone other than our small church group.
The day of the retreat came and everyone was saying how boring our night was going to be. I must admit I wasn’t excited about spending my night with people I didn’t know.
My friends and I got to the church and decided to sit in the back of the room during the retreat (I always sit in the back). I’m not sure exactly how my friends or class felt about the whole retreat, but personally, after about 10 minutes of being in the atmosphere of the NET team, I was ready to handle anything.