During the week of June 10-16, both my son Gino and I were given the opportunity and privilege with Deacon John & Karen Bartos and six other parish teens to be stewards of Christ’s love while in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Catholic Heart Work Camp.
Our objective was to help folks on the north end of Philly who needed assistance with actual physical labor whether it was painting; landscaping, cleaning, repairs, or safety concerns (smoke detectors) installed to help beautify their living quarters. While completing these tasks we were able to show God’s love to others by both physical means as well as offering hope by giving emotional and spiritual support in encouraging them. By helping to be the hands and feet of God, we provided moral support and helped to boost folk’s self-esteem and confidence to understand that our goal and purpose was given freely to demonstrate our faith in Jesus Christ. As 1st Corinthians 12:26 states referring to one body and many parts, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”(KJV). Consequently, with the over 325 adult/teen volunteers we were able to offer over 72,000 hours of help/support to the extended body of Christ.
Many life lessons were brought back to the five states that participated in the program including: sharing from our surplus, offering a helping hand to those less fortunate, being the catalyst and bringing change to the world through our faith. Additionally, we have come to the conclusion that God truly helps those who help themselves. But by giving rather than receiving is ultimately where the joy will come to fruition within our lives. Once again from the St. Patrick’s Teen Ministry, we would like to express our love, support, and gratitude for those who helped with the sponsorships and help defray the transportation costs for our travels. With my wife (Heather) we look forward to the opportunity, challenge, and support that families can offer to help with the Teen Ministry within our parish. We have many new rewarding and fun activities planned beginning every other Sunday this summer for students in our parish from grades 7-12. Also, we encourage teens to invite their parish friends in order to build up and gear up the start of the program this summer. Please look for dates and times in the bulletin.
Love in Christ,
Dominic & Heather Mileto
St. Patrick’s Teen Ministry