All you beautiful college freshmen were my first class to go through Confirmation Prep and Youth group with me! So you're kind of like my own children. So because I feel all "mama bear" towards you, I'd like to offer my loving suggestions to help make your years at college ones of growth, love, and PEACE!
Keep going to Mass-it's your connection home. So I went to a college about 3 hours away from home. I loved it because it was far enough away to feel 'on my own' but close enough that I could easily come home for a weekend. But the first month I was so homesick. I battled SO MUCH anxiety separating from my family and friends. It was hard to sleep and eat... needless to say, I really struggled. So I remember talking to my dad, who told me that I would not always feel this way but that until I got used to being on my own, I should receive the Eucharist because when I do, I become "One Body" with all my family and friends. He said when we both receive the Eucharist, we are closer than if he and I were in the same room. You guys, it's true. If you miss someone, miss your church youth group, miss your family, etc, then go to Mass and unite with them there. It helps so much!
Prepare for Mass: I can't underestimate the power of preparing for Mass ahead of time by reading the readings! I will write a blog each week which will link to the Sunday readings and share a couple of thoughts about how the readings may apply to your lives right now! When we prepare, we are putting effort into our Mass experience which makes it so much richer. God's grace is so much more felt and received. So click on this link and keep it on your homescreen: http://stjosephignite.weebly.com/blog. I promise you, the more you put into Mass the more you will get out!
Pray Daily: I know you are busy. You stay up late and sleep in. Some of you work, and most of you have homework and study. Also, I understand that it's college, and many of you stay out late socializing.... BUT here are a few SHORT and POWERFUL prayers you could do daily. Just set the alarm in your phone for noon each day and lable it with prayer!
Find some faith-filled friends: Most of you have at least one friend you can talk about your faith with. But if you don't, head to the Newman Center or Catholic Youth Group on campus, each school has one, and sign up for one activity. Be brave and share your struggles, your hopes, what you want to be and your friends there will support you and most likely be in the same boat you are in!
Don't forget about confession- I get it. You are in college. You are finally free to do whatever you want! So many of you may be looking for fulfillment in attractive places... but don't be surprised if the excitement melts away into anxiety, lonliness and sadness. I pray you remember the healing power of Confession. It helps, not hurts and gives you strength to be the person God is calling you to be. If you are looking for peace, patience, confidence and freedom, those temptations you face will only distract you then leave you feeling empty. The Sacraments like Mass and Confession will fill you and give you what you are truly looking for! Plus I'll buy you ice cream if you go to confession ;)
Come back and see us! I truly adore you all. I pray for you often and wish you the best. But I want to see you too so keep visiting me! You can write me via facebook, instagram, email or even stop into YG any Wed night! We will be going to adoration every last Thursday of the month from 6-7pm! Here is our Youth Group Calendar! I'd love to see you!
We will be praying for you all!
All my love in Christ,
Word up. I am Stacy, the youth minister of this amazing group of teens. I have 4 kids of my own, 2 heaven babies and like 60 teens I consider very large children of my own.