Thanks to Ansel Augustine of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Black Catholic for posting this to their blog site:
We worked hard but enjoyed GREAT hospitality while there.
Thanks NOLA...and thanks to the NFCYM for all you do to support youth ministries around the country and in the Diocese of Youngstown!
If you are not familiar with the NFCYM -- then perhaps you should check out their websites:
For adults (in even numbered years, i.e. THIS December)
For teens (in odd numbered years, look for information in Spring 2015)
Wow, hard to believe that it is Prom Season already -- but as I see pictures posted on Facebook, it is here! So, here are two quick prayers for teens to use -- one for those going to prom and one for those not going to prom....
In either event, know that I am praying that you (teens) -- please, stay safe (and don't do anything you'd be embarrassed to tell your grandma all about!!)
A Prayer for All Going to Prom
Lord God, thank you for this opportunity to get dressed up
and have fun with friends as we eat, dance, and laugh at Prom.
Please keep us safe this evening,
and give us strength to avoid temptations for any and all
activities that would harm our relationship with you.
May we be good role models in how we act, in what we say,
in what we do and in how we dance.
But also rejoice with us as we have fun.
We pray this in your holy name, Amen.
A Prayer for Those Not Going to Prom
Lord God, even though I will not be going to the dance tonight,
I ask that you watch over and protect those who are.
May they be safe and able to stay faithful to you.
I also ask that you watch over me and all those who are
not going to prom either by personal choice,
parent's choice, or not being invited - no matter what the reason,
please grant us a fun evening as well.
No matter what I decide to do tonight, help me
to look back with fond memories.
Thank you for all my blessings Lord.
In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Following the 2014 Academy Awards, this lovely video began circulating of the winner of the Supporting Actress Oscar, Lupita Nyong'o Speech on Black Beauty Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Award (See below, or visit this website:)
What a beautiful witness of her own struggle with a sense of beauty, and of self-acceptance. How many other young people do we know have these struggles?
While it took the model Ilek Wek to help Lupita begin to see her own beauty, rather then just feeling the love of God, I am sure that God sent her that inspiration. It took seeing that model for Lupita to see that she was made in God's own image:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them (Genesis 1:27 - 28a)
How do we in our ministries help teens see that they are made in God's image? How can we help them to avoid the "seduction of inadequacy" as Lupita put it -- settling as being 'less than' or less worthy?
We need to give up negative self-talk -- not like giving up for Lent, but giving up for Life.
Miss Nyongo went on to say that "Beauty is not a thing that I can acquire or consume." This, too, is an important lessen we can help our teens to learn.
Once they can see God in themselves, we can help them to see God in other people. Then comes the ability to look into someone's eyes with love. "What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion. Compassion for yourself and for those around you," she says. Compassion is an expression of love. And, since God is love (1 John 4:8), compassion is an expression of God -- what could be more lovely?
"Get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside," Miss Nyongo stated.
I add, and help others to do the same!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.