Bon Secours Young Adult Ministry

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  • Pilgrimage for World Youth Day

    The Pilgrimage Continues…

    So why exactly did I go to World Youth Day in Panama? What is the benefit to Bon Secours Young Adults or to the broader Bon Secours Family?

    It’s an important question to answer. And the answer, I believe, lies with the word “pilgrimage.” World Youth Day, an experience directed at Young Adults from college age and into their 20’s, is at its core a pilgrimage. It’s not a vacation or a holiday. It’s not a package of adventure travel, or even an immersion experience. It’s a journey to a holy place – and the holy place that we journey to is a gathering of young people called together to celebrate their faith. Every two to three years the Pope calls for an international gathering, but World Youth Day happens every year and should be celebrated locally every year. Every year it is still a journey, a pilgrimage, to a place made holy because we gather together. It is both the journey to, and the gathering with, that is important. And it is what happens during the gathering – encounter, prayer, and learning – that makes it different.

    Over the past year young people took center stage in the conversations happening in the Church. It was an incredible year and a terrible year all at the same time. Through it all – and again all through the pilgrimage in Panama – the need for healthy, holy, accompaniment of young people on their journeys of faith and life rang loudly. And as unworthy as I felt to do so, that is why I went. To walk with people on their journey, on their pilgrimage of faith. At Bon Secours that is always our mission – to walk with young people on their path of faith. And World Youth Day (whether in Panama or in Washington, DC, or in your neighborhood parish) is that mission of accompaniment. For we learned together, we ate together, we prayed together, we explored questions deep and trivial, we suffered with each other though physical fatigue and spiritual fatigue, we laughed and we cried together. And each day we encountered Christ in each other, in the people we met from around the world and around the city, and in the sacraments we celebrated.

    The pilgrimage continues for each of us. The question is, how will we continue to walk with each other?

    Nick

  • Greetings from Panama!


    “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

    The theme of World Youth Day, above, reminds us of two connected and important points. God is leading us, and we are called to service. Mary’s response to Gabriel, as a young woman, is to be our response as well.

    On pilgrimage, as we are all called to this week, whether celebrating WYD in Panama or in Washington, DC (or wherever you are — follow along digitally!), God is doing the leading. God has adventures in store for us that we cannot imagine. But often those adventures and blessings require a change of heart, an openness to being inspired by awe. Sometimes churches bring us that awe, as they were built for that reason. But often, I find that in our indoor, always-connected world nature provokes that awe more viscerally.

    Pilgrimage at its core is about walking to holy places. So already on our journey we have walked to churches and we have prayed in holy places. But we also have entered into the holiness of nature. And been reminded of our call to service as a result. As Bon Secours we “commit ourselves to defend and care for all of creation; and to cry out with others against injustice and all that diminishes life on Earth.” Visiting the rainforest and learning about the endangered species that live there is an incredible reminder of all of the service God’s creation is calling out for today. May you let God do the leading and may you find a way to serve.

    God bless!
    Nick

  • “Oh the places we will go”

    Happy New Year, friend!

    I love maps and I love calendars because they show you where you are and where you are going. I want to share some of where we are going with Bon Secours Young Adults this year. There are the fun events like World Youth Day in Panama, and Panama in the Capital in Washington DC, on January 26. The two annual Farm Retreat Weekends, in February (15-18) and in August (2-4). The Bon Secours Family Reunion on July 13. The Lenten Retreat in April and a special Catholic Imagination Retreat in London in June.

    But there are also so many annual traditions to look forward to and people in our lives to celebrate: Valentine’s Day, Opening Day for Major League Baseball, NCAA March Madness, DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival, birthday parties, weddings, anniversary’s, Earth Day, the Preakness Stakes, Memorial Day cookouts and pool openings, Mother’s and Father’s Days, Fireworks on the 4th of July, Back to School shopping, college football season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

    Then it struck me. For all of that, as a community centered in our relationship with Jesus we also have another year, another chance, another graced time to celebrate the mysteries at the heart of who we are as Bon Secours: Sisters of Bon Secours Foundation Day on Jan. 24th, Ash Wednesday on March 6, the season of Lent, Holy Week with Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday, Easter on April 21, the season of Easter, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on June 9, the Assumption of Mary on August 15, the rhythm of growth in Ordinary Time, All Saints on November 1, and the Advent Season in December.

    What an incredible year we have in front of us. Thanks be to God, now and forever.

    Nick Stein

  • Rejoice!

    We’re in the 3rd week of Advent, Christmas Eve is a week away, and vacation (at least a few days of it) for many of us is just around the corner. I am sure all of you finished your shopping, wrapping, and sending weeks ago, and are just relaxing each night by the fire in perfectly decorated and clean homes just like in the Hallmark movies we all love. Or maybe not; either way, we hope that you will be able to put all of that aside for at least a few moments over the next few weeks to enter fully into the Christmas event — of God’s ultimate act of compassion, in becoming human.

    Knowing you, that’s not a big ask — you are in a league of champions when it comes to prayer. But because you know the meaning of Christmas so well, here is the bigger ask — please share what it means to you that Jesus was born with someone else over the next couple of weeks. We have to share the story. We have to share why it touches our hearts. So please keep baking tons of cookies, give lots of gifts, wear ugly sweaters, blast Christmas music around the house and in the car, go to the parties, and of course, make the time for church services with your loved ones. But also, please have a quiet conversation with someone, speaking from your soul, about the meaning of Emmanuel, God-With-Us. It might just be the best way to be good help.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

    Nick Stein

  • Moving from event-centered ministry to people-centered ministry

    This past week Bon Secours Young Adults was well-represented at the National Leadership Forum on Ministry with Young Adults in Tampa, Florida. Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, program coordinator Lauren DeSmit, board member Sarah Jarzembowski, Rudy Dehaney, Katie Erskine, and more were all in attendance and soaking up the networking and learning opportunities on behalf of our community. I was helping to organize the Forum and was asked to be a part of a couple of panels in my role with the National Advisory Team. It was a tremendous honor, of course, to be able to help advance this field of ministry in broad ways, but I want to reflect for a moment on how this applies to you, specifically, as a Bon Secours Young Adult or as someone who supports this ministry.

    As part of the Forum a number of “White Papers” were collected and published and presented to the participants as best practices, or thought pieces. One paper in particular made a tremendous impact in reinforcing a thought that had been brewing in various ways for me for a while now. “Moving from Event-Centered Ministry to People-Centered Ministry” was presented by Sean Allen, of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend. If you have the time, I would encourage you to read it — and to let me know your thoughts about it.

    But this is what I think it means for us as Bon Secours. Over the past 4 years we have built up this incredible community of young-adult people who are committed to being good help in the world. You are those people. And we have offered incredible events — retreats, service projects, small faith-sharing groups, happy hours, etc. But too often I know I have been guilty of thinking up the fun event first and then thinking about the person second. That needs to change — you, the person, needs to come first, the event, if there is an event at all, needs to come second (or third, or later). You can expect to hear much more about this in the weeks to come, but for now, please be on the lookout for another invitation to coffee (or your preferred beverage) from Lauren and I in the near future as we look to make sure Bon Secours Young Adults is a people-centered ministry and community, first and always.

    Happy Advent everyone,

    Nick Stein

We are called by God and sent by the Church to reproduce in ourselves:
Christ healing... Christ consoling... Christ always aware of the needs of others.