A group of young parishioners volunteered to assist with maintenance projects at Our Lady of Sorrows/Christ the King Church in Jersey City on July 17. Their efforts were part of “Days in the Diocese,” a new summer program presented by the Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark that offers one-day service immersion experiences to archdiocesan teens throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties.
The participating high school students — who are all enrolled in a parish youth group or Confirmation program — washed windows, moved furniture, polished pews, swept floors, and completed a variety of other cleaning work in the church and its parish hall. They were joined by Bishop Gregory J. Studerus, the archdiocesan auxiliary bishop representing Hudson County, who blessed the teens and led them in prayer.
“Catholics of every age are called to serve God’s children, so it warmed my heart to see the Archdiocese’s young people giving up their free time to help a parish in need,” Bishop Studerus said. “It goes to show, today’s youth are still committed to their faith despite the rising secularization of society. And that commitment is owed, in large part, to the Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry’s crucial work teaching children and teens about the love of Jesus.”
The Saturday of service at Our Lady of Sorrow/Christ the King Church was the first of four “Days in the Diocese” planned for this summer. The upcoming three will take place at archdiocesan sites in Essex, Union, and Bergen counties.
“I hope the teens realize they can make a difference,” said Rich Donovan, the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry’s Associate Director for Events and Training. “A lot of people say teens are the Church of tomorrow, but they are very much the Church of today. They’re very important. But if we don’t get them involved through programs like ‘Days in the Diocese’ and show them how significant they are, they may not be here tomorrow.”
To learn more about “Days in the Diocese” and other initiatives within the Archdiocese of Newark’s Youth & Young Adult Ministry, visit https://www.newarkoym.com/.