Reflections from Jason and Elisa Torres –
“The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle.”– Pope Francis
This quote by Pope Francis has stirred the hearts of many Catholics. I myself, as well as the parish staff and many of our leaders in parish ministry, have truly taken this quote to prayer. How can we be this field hospital for Berwyn? How can we warm the hearts of the faithful here locally so that they can, in turn, bring that to the world? Over the past six months, our youth ministry (both middle school and high school) has focused on developing a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ using the Alpha Youth Series. As this series is coming to an end we are stressing the command of Jesus to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) as well as the prompting of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost. When we encounter Jesus Christ we can’t help but to go out and preach the Gospel by our words and actions.
Last month, our middle school and high school youth groups, as well as some of our confirmation candidates, came together to make casseroles for St. John’s Hospice. Our youth have also been packing toiletry bags for the homeless at St. John’s. We will be delivering the bags and the casseroles later this month. Many of our students didn’t realize how many people are homeless in Philadelphia and how much this work is needed. Our youth were able to connect that because we believe that everyone is a child of God, it is our duty to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ who may often be forgotten.
Thank you for your continual prayers and support for the families and youth of our parish. True disciples of Christ are being formed in this ministry. It is truly amazing to see what God is doing. Between our youth nights and our Bible studies, God is moving in the lives of our youth!
I was recently informed that one of our recent graduates, Lissie Torres, has answered the call to bring the love of Christ to the world by embarking on a mission trip to the Yucatan. I have attached a letter that she sent us. Please read Lissie’s letter to learn more about her involvement with Temple’s Newman Center. Hopefully you will support Lissie through prayer and, if at all possible, a monetary contribution, to help her answer her call to “share the love of Jesus internationally.”
“Saint Monica’s Parish,
My name is Elisa Torres and I have been a member of Saint Monica’s Youth Group since 7th grade. I graduated from Conestoga in June of 2016 and started studying Art Education at Temple University this past fall. As my relationship with Jesus Christ has strengthened throughout my young life as a member of the youth group, a fire to spread God’s love has also been ignited within my heart. When moving into college this past fall at Temple University, I became involved at Temple’s Newman Center, the Catholic center on campus. Through the Newman Center, an organization titled the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, also known as FOCUS, and the help from Saint Monica’s Parish, I was able to join 13,000 college students at SEEK, a conference in San Antonio, Texas. The conference allowed me to grow in my own personal faith and strengthen my relationship with God. Now that SEEK has passed and I have had the opportunity to grow in my own faith, I am so excited to share with you that I will be attending a mission trip with FOCUS in Yucatan, Mexico in order to share the love of Jesus internationally.
When in Yucatan, we will be refurbishing an old church in the village of Yucatan, working with local school children, and running a Catechism retreat with the adults in the community. Not only am I excited to grow in my own faith, but I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Mexico in order to spread the word of the Lord and the love Jesus Christ has for all of us. By praying for the students heading to Mexico or donating to the mission with FOCUS, you will be joining our mission to spread God’s love. As Mother Teresa once said, “Some go by giving and others give by going”. I would greatly appreciate your participation in the mission to spread the love of God by donating as I venture to Mexico. In order to attend, I need to fundraise $1,900. If you would like to read more or donate to the mission, please feel free to address a check to Elisa Torres and send it to the Rectory or visit my fundraising page at http://www.focusonline.org/goto/elisatorres.
Thank you and God Bless, Elisa Torres