Facing the Future

“Confident of God’s faithful love, and collaborating with others who work for justice and peace, we face the future with gratitude and hope.” 

This is one my favorite lines in the Constitutions of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.  It expresses so much in so few words--hope for the future, gratitude for our loving God, and a commitment to join others in following Gospel values and making a difference in our world.

One of the things that I have really enjoyed about my ministry these past four years at the peace and justice center has been the opportunity to collaborate with a particular segment of the population who are also seeking to make a difference in our world ... youth and young adults.  Would I ever have woken up and said, "I want to work with young people!"  No.  In fact, other than being a youth or young adult myself, this was never something that inspired me.  Hence, I am not a teacher nor youth minister by trade.  There are others who are truly called to youth and young adult ministry.  I am in awe of them and grateful to have the opportunity to dabble in their world from time to time.

What I am inspired by is the opportunity to collaborate--directly and indirectly--with young people who work for justice and peace in a variety of ways.  Yes, you heard me, it's not that some day they will work for peace and justice, but that they are already doing this in their own spheres of influence.  In the past month in fact, I've had quite a few of these opportunities which fill me both with gratitude and hope for the future.

Today I met with a high school senior who is going to co-present at a youth forum with me this summer on the topic of human trafficking.  Last summer, she joined a group of other young adults to travel to Cambodia to play soccer.  They worked with a project that both provides after care to young women who have been victims of sex trafficking and a prevention program that offers employment training and empowerment to at risk communities.  Since she returned, she has been an ambassador of sorts for this program and sold some of the products made by the young women at fair trade sales.  She's headed to college in the Fall and I'm sure will do great things down the line.

A few weeks ago I met with a group of college students who wanted to start a human trafficking club on campus. They had such energy and were thinking long-term and strategically.  They didn't just want to start a club that would fade away, but were looking out for ways to not only make a difference but plant seeds so the club would continue after they graduate.

This week we announced the winners of our high school JustVideo contest.  This was the third year of the contest, and we received such amazing entries on the themes of human rights, immigration and the environment.  Not only are the videos creative, they make such amazing connections between the call of our faith and the needs of our broken world.  

These are just a few of many stories of young people facing the future themselves with gratitude and hope, ready to collaborate for positive change.  It does a person good to have even a little hand in giving them some of the tools to help them be more effective.

So that's a glimpse into one of the cool things about being a Catholic Sister in the 21st Century--working with folks of all ages who also want to make the world a better place. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sister, What hope to hear of these young people. It really shows a brighter view of the years to come. Thank God you have responded to His call to help bring peace and His goodness to this war weary world.