The theme that continued to reoccur throughout the trip was, "Every life has a purpose." On the way to DC we watched and discussed the movie Simon Birch on the bus, a movie about a teen boy who was very small due to birth defects, but who felt that God had created him that way for a reason and that he would one day be a hero. We also talked about vocations and visited the Eastern Catholic vocations fair at the Ukrainian Catholic Shrine. The teens came up with questions together in their groups to ask the priests, deacons, monks and nuns that they would meet there. This gave them an opportunity to learn about some of the vocations in the Church and to think about what purpose God might have in mind for their lives. Following the vocations fair, we visited the Blessed John Paul II Shrine right next door for the Sisters of Life "You and Me" exhibit. This multi-media exhibit followed the lives of six different people who had to make difficult decisions and found freedom and joy in making the self-sacrificing decision (such as choosing life for his or her baby). It was a very powerful exhibit that caused us to think about our decisions and the reasons why things happen the way they do. It also taught us how much God loves us, not for what we can do but for who we are. We reminded the teens that we were going to the March for Life to tell the world that life is beautiful and that God has given every human being a purpose. We also asked them to think and pray during the trip about what particular purpose that God has given them.
|Meeting the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light at the Vocation Fair|
We are grateful to Epiphany Byzantine Catholic parish in Annandale, Virginia, for hosting us for a delicious dinner on Sunday night, and to Holy Transfiguration Melkite parish in McLean, Virginia, for hosting us overnight. Compline prayed that night in their beautiful chapel was absolutely heavenly! (Those teens can really sing!) We were fortunate enough to receive tickets to the Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the DC Armory on Monday morning, and enjoyed praying with 10,000 other young people and cheering for Bishop John as he was announced among the concelebrating bishops. Our cheer was heard on EWTN, along with our singing of Marian hymns as we marched by the EWTN camera. We thank all who helped to make this trip possible!
|Conor and his sister Sr. Brigid (Sisters of Life) and Sr. Julie and her brother Steven|