A MINISTRY OF PRESENCE
We show up when our teens need us and we stay interruptible.
St. Anthony’s began Life Teen in 1999 as a way to bring teens into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. We started with a group of 75 teens and since then it has been an amazing journey of faith. Our mission at St. Anthony's Youth Ministry continues with over 1,200 young people participating in our programs. Many lives and families have been impacted by this ministry, and we look forward to continuing to “lead teens closer to Christ” and His Church.
Confronting COVID with Hope
COVID-19 has thrown us for a loop! Operating with limited personnel and the same ongoing restrictions from the Cardinal's Office, the New Normal is really restrictive. In fact, it may be too restrictive. We are finding in our community a massive increase in depression, anxiety, and fear in both the youth and adults. Isolation for legitimate healthcare reasons has its consequences and long-term, wide-spread quarantines seem to have worse results. In an article published on mitigation measures for pandemic influenza and their effects, researchers made some startling conclusions (on influenza, which is similar, but not the same, as COVID-19). Here are some important quotes:
"The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme... that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration."
"Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics... respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted."
"Canceling or postponing large meetings would not be likely to have any significant effect on the development of the epidemic."
"Implementing such measures would have seriously disruptive consequences for a community if extended through the 8-week period of an epidemic in a municipal area, let alone if it were to be extended through the nation’s experience with a pandemic (perhaps 8 months)."
We need to be safe, smart, and aware, but not isolated!
Our parish has been smart and incredibly safe, but now it is time to return to gathering together. As adults, we know this is adversely affecting our children and we need to start returning to as close to normal as we can. This starts with the Freshmen and those preparing for Confirmation. We will reduce the size of our groups and continue sanitizing seats and keeping our distance. Our schools and churches have not been "superspreaders" like we thought back in March, so keeping kids home and trying to teach via the Internet is not necessary, as long as we continue to be smart and safe!