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.
Team 2 is in Jackson, Mississippi after a wonderful two weeks in sunny south Florida. There we had the opportunity to stay with Salesian sisters and generous host families who showed us the joy of following Christ in new ways.
Our team was able to lead retreats on Marco Island, as well as enjoy a team day at the beach in Delray, where we were able to share some of this joy with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Since this second semester started, each member of our team has had the opportunity to lead team prayer. One of the days we reflected on the passage from 2 Timothy that was read at the commissioning Mass in September at the NET Center.
I was 16 when my mom died of colon cancer. She was 49 years old, a mother of nine, with my youngest brother being only six years old.
The only way I could explain the pain of my mom’s death was to describe cancer as an evil. It was only until I met Joe Hall that my outlook of this cancerous evil changed. Joe is a boisterous, focused, intentional, young, strong, faithful, Catholic man who fell victim to the disease.
Team 8 and Chanhassen say hello! Minnesota has been treating us quite nicely and we have some smashing stories to tell you – so sit back, relax, and enjoy!
One of the men on our team invited a particular high school guy to youth group awhile back. After he attended this event he started coming consistently to open youth room, Life Nights on Sundays, and open team prayer. It has been a huge blessing to watch this young man grow.
Hello from California! This is Team 7 coming at you from the Sunshine State. It may be winter but the winter blues sure aren’t hitting us here. Instead of February bringing snow and cold weather, it has provided only sunshine and heat for us out in the southwest. Calling home for some of us means hearing about record-breaking low temperatures and snow. Some of the team is actually homesick when they hear about the snow they’re missing out on.
Life is going spectacular with Team 10. We have been continually growing in Christ while watching growth in the students as well. God is truly working through us to reach the hearts of all the students at Cathedral High School. The Lord is making CHS a whole new place.
Our classes have been going very well. The topics we’ve hit on so far this half have been God our faithful father, God’s love story (the Bible), beloved sons and daughters of God, and the Church is a family – just to name a few. Each talk brings a new way to deepen our relationship with God by demonstrating different ways to pray or read the bible.
This time we are writing to you from “The Garden State”: New Jersey! We’ve only been in Jersey for the past few days but we’re already having a blast here. On our team day two days ago, we got to see the first roadside attraction in America (an elephant named Lucy) and hang out at the Atlantic City Aquarium where we got to pet sharks and feed stingrays. Some other fun news: we’ve now officially had over 80 retreats this year! God is good.
I love Lent. No, I’m not being facetious. I really do love Lent.
I LOVE black and white. Concrete parameters. Step by step instructions. Definitive directions. So I LOVE the particulars of Lent. Starting Ash Wednesday every year we enter into a very specific season in the life of the Church. With the “everyone’s doing it” positive peer pressure of our fellow Catholics, it’s “easy” to pick some sort of penance or self denial for these 40 days. I like the challenge.
Esther covered her head with dung and ashes, for it says,
TAKING OFF HER SPLENDID GARMENTS, SHE PUT ON GARMENTS OF DISTRESS AND MOURNING. IN PLACE OF HER PRECIOUS OINTMENTS SHE COVERED HER HEAD WITH DUNG AND ASHES.” Esther 4:13
Dung! Aren’t you glad we don’t get poop rubbed on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday? I’m assuming ashes are probably looking pretty good right about now! As a teenager, Ash Wednesday was a day that I both enjoyed and dreaded: I enjoyed going to Mass but dreaded the public seeing a thick cross of ashes on my forehead.
In 2011, 21-year-old NET alumnus Joe Hall was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Despite the ongoing battle, his faith and trust in God’s plan has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to those who know him. This is his story.
We are writing to you from the dairy capital of United States: Wisconsin! We have been keeping ourselves busy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, giving it our all with doing retreats and a few service projects. It has been a blessing (and convenient) to be able to be in one location for a while. It gives us a chance to really get to know the community. There have been times where we have run into someone outside a recent retreat we did and we were able to say hi! We’ve had quite a unique and incredible time here.
JUST SO, YOUR LIGHT MUST SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER -Matt 5:16
Hello, everyone! Team 14 is currently serving in Lafayette, Louisiana. Time is flying by as we are underway with the second stretch of our NET year. Christmas break provided us a great chance to recharge and prepare for the road ahead. Reuniting in January gave us all a boost as we rest for ministry and prepared for road life once again.