On the Youth Ministry Photo Page we will post pictures of our past events. Please EnJoy the pictures and the reflections!

From July 11-15th a group of our high school age parishioners had the chance to participate in Notre Dame Vision at the University of Notre Dame. During the week we reflected on Pope Francis's request for us to, focus on Mercy. The first thing we needed to realize is that we are children of a merciful Father. When we understand how merciful God is to us, we can, in turn, be messengers of mercy for everyone we encounter. We must be willing to See Mercy and Be Mercy, in our lives. Mike Patin encouraged us to Be Here Now and really be present to our faith all week. Aimee and Collin made us aware of how we need to strengthen our mercy muscles by practicing mercy. These were just two but there were many more.

I am proud of the young people who took the challenge to devote a week to their faith. I am grateful for all the prayers that accompanied our parishioners as they journeyed. The next step will be watching how they use the knowledge they have received. I am hopeful and excited to find out! ~Kim

Hi, my name is Roberto, I wanted to share my experience on a camp I recently went to known as Notre Dame Vision with 6 other teens from St. Benedict Parish. Notre Dame Vision was held at the University of Notre Dame. I would describe it as an eye-opener regarding mercy. The camp itself was a week long and focused on God, mercy, and the Catholic community. The speakers that came and spoke to us throughout the week were amazing and covered one important topic, mercy. One speaker in particular, Mike Patin, came in on the first evening. I really admired the way he used humor and personal experience to capture our attention and teach us what mercy was truly about. If I could go and attend Notre Dame Vision again I would, and would also recommend it to anyone who would like to attend the University in the future. You get to really feel like you are living there for a week. You eat at the ND dining hall, sleep in the dorms, and get to roam around the beautiful campus!~Roberto M., 9th Grader 

Before going to Notre Dame Vision, I was nervous that I would not have a good time, would not connect with any of the speakers, would not meet any new friends, and would completely miss the main message of Vision. That was not the case at all. Before even meeting my small group and mentors, I was already meeting people on the quad and building friendships that would last beyond the trip. I met my small group and quickly realized that we were all nervous, rising sophomores that were unsure how we would enjoy Notre Dame Vision. Our first speaker that night was one of my favorites from throughout the week. He introduced what we would be focusing on at Vision and made me feel less nervous about spending the next four days with teenagers from across the nation that I didn't know. My favorite part of his speech was his main reminder to us. "Be here now." Notre Dame Vision was a chance to leave behind problems or worries from back home. It gave us the opportunity to grow in our faith and open our hearts to God and what He was trying to tell us. Throughout the week, I laughed and cried, I doubted and believed. I became closer to God and everyone at Vision. Most importantly, I allowed myself to be there completely. I am so glad that I went to Notre Dame Vision and I would recommend it to anybody. ~Jaime M. St. Benedict Preparatory High School

During my Notre Dame experience, I was nervous. However, I knew that I wasn't the only one who felt that way. I wanted to do this trip because I had come to understand that not only was it a time to have a relationship with God, but to also reflect on myself. It also may have helped that upon arrival, they greeted us with warm and fresh chocolate chip cookies. On the first day, I thought that the speaker, Mike, did an amazing job, and he definitely helped loosen my nerves right away. I remember him telling us about a victory waffle, which I still unfortunately have yet to make, which consisted of a waffle and any ice cream flavor, mixed with any toppings. Along with Mike's talk, the atmosphere of Notre Dame was so light and refreshing. It was as if stepping onto the grounds made you travel into a place where it was stress free. That all the cares that you had in the outside world were gone. Something I took from Mike's talk, which I still reflect on now are three words. Be. Here. Now.    The second day was more exciting for me, than the first. It was like the first day was about the nerves, and the transition. The second day was about the excitement and the learning. When we had gotten into our small groups for discussion, I was lucky to get a group that was all girls. Even the mentors were girls. So, it was easy to find common ground as we were able to connect more. I learned that I was able to befriend people very quick, and that the girls were super nice and welcoming. We had similar stories and I found myself thinking about when I would have to leave, and that I wouldn't see these girls for a long time.

The second talk that we had was with a woman named Stephanie. At first, it was a highly amusing talk, and it was very light and fun. However, the mood had shifted when she began speaking of her life, and how she had boxes that framed and shaped who she thought she was supposed to be. Later in the talk, she had asked us, the audience, to get involved and think about the boxes that frame and shape who we think we ought to be. She told us to then imagine taking those boxes off, letting them go and standing up to show that we are able to break free of those boxes and words. For me, I personally felt that to be challenging. As most, I had different boxes around me, and I found it difficult to let them go. However, with help and support, I was able to start letting them go, and I know that one day I will truly be free of the things restricting me from being who I am.

 I would like to thank everyone who helped get me to Notre Dame, for without your help and support, I wouldn't have been able to have such an amazing experience.~        ~Allie S. St Benedict Preparatory High School

This week at Notre Dame Vision was something I've never experienced in my life. I have learned that not only should I believe in my faith but I should embrace it. Everyone here, including our guest speakers from around the country, helped me and the others here, improve ourselves and try to be better people. The mentors were so nice and made me realize there are so many ways God works with Mercy. I've never been to a camp like Notre Dame Vision and I can't wait to go the next year and hopefully, many more years to come.~Sierra Ryan. 10th grade

I had an amazing time at Notre Dame Vision 2016! When I got there I knew absolutely nobody, including the people I had just rode in a bus with for 2 hours. Friday at 2 PM when we left, I came back with connections and friendships closer than some of the ones I have here at home. All the speakers moved me, inspiring me to "Be Here Now" and to remove all the labels we're plagued with in our everyday lives. I really found God here, especially in the community. Nobody was afraid to be themselves, and never held back, especially in small group. I've been inspired to be myself from my peers and I feel closer to my faith after this journey. I've been keeping touch with all my friends from Vision and I'm psyched for next year! ~ Avery Kain St. Ignatius College Prep.