Peace from Team 14 in the diocese of Fort Worth!
We are stationed at St. Francis of Assisi parish here in Grapevine, Texas. Parish team ministry presents a unique set of opportunities to walk with teenagers in their faith life over an extended period of time. With this in mind, our team focuses on cultivating intentional relationships with teenagers in middle school and high school by being a part of their daily lives
We strive to be a positive presence in the community by going to high school football games and eating lunch at local schools. Even two of the public high schools have welcomed us into their lunchrooms each week. On weekends we go high school football games, complete with face paint and school colors. We love sitting with all of the families at the Masses on the weekends.
At the parish, we help host “Young Church” nights where teenagers hear talks from adults in the community and form faith-filled relationships in small groups.
NET team members work together with core members to lead small group sessions and disciple the teens there. Additionally, we share testimonies, skits, and lead worship. Recently, the NET women hosted a women’s session called “Captivate”, where high school women came to the NET house and decorated mason jars for the fall. Inspired by Pinterest and Jesus, the event was a chance to get to know teens in a creative atmosphere. At the event, the ladies discussed growing the women’s group into a book study. Their hope is that the group becomes a place to explore authentic femininity through the eyes of Christ. As a whole, our team aims to create relationships that encourage the students to come to these parish events and grow in fellowship and faith.
Through all of these events, seven families have welcomed us into their homes for weeks at a time. We have helped lead a retreat for middle schoolers at the parish, with another coming soon for high schoolers. We have met with groups of students six times to study the Bible during the week and one discipleship training group is already meeting. Our NET team has met over 300 youth in our community.
Persistence is key in parish ministry.
Rarely do we change a person’s life with one conversation at a high school football game or even after Mass. Our desire is to get to know the community one day at a time, being attentive to the Holy Spirit guiding our conversations and relationships. The Holy Spirit gives us opportunities daily to show the love of Christ to the people around us.
Our pastor, Father Flynn, has made it clear to the parish that he doesn’t believe in the quote “preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words”. It is necessary to use the name of Jesus when preaching the Gospel because He is the Gospel. Even though we are known missionaries in this community, the way we interact with others is not enough to fulfill our ministry. Jesus has called each of us to tell these teens about his love and mercy. He has called us to be witnesses to his grace and life changing power. We pray that at football games, school lunches, and parish events we will keep this commission at the forefront of our minds and hearts.