The Annual Global Celebration
of Youth and Young Adults.
On Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
On November 19, 2022
Brownsville (Texas), Sr. Claudia Lorena Redondo, December 2, 2022.
On Saturday, November 19, we celebrated World Youth Day at San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Brownsville, Texas.
Youth and United with Christ group started in 2019 at San Felipe de Jesus Parish with Sister Sindi Bardales as our youth ministry leader. Over the years, some of the members of the group have gone to other cities to study at colleges or universities, at the same time, more young people have joined the group.
I, Avril Solis, and Karyme Martinez have been in the group from the beginning. Throughout the years, we have contributed so much to our church. We have helped organized many retreats, posadas, living stations of the cross and other plays. This year, we have Sister Claudia Redondo as our youth ministry leader, and we were able to celebrate the Annual Global Celebration of Youth. Father Manuel Razo pastor of the Parish, Father Brian Strassburger SJ, and Father Louie Hotop SJ helped us to organize the celebration. We invited all the youth from our parish to celebrate the beauty of being young and united with Christ.
This year, we began the celebration of the Eucharist which was presided over by Fr. Louie Hotop, SJ. In his homily he pointed out to us that if we are followers of Jesus, we should ask ourselves what kind of person he was. He was kind and generous, compassionate towards the poor and toward sinners. He was patient, understanding, and loving. He also showed his anger at times, especially when he encountered injustices. He was courageous and chose the path of humility and servant leadership. This is the king that we follow, not someone who uses power to control or manipulate others, but someone who through gentleness, compassion, and service to the poor gives us an example of what it means to be a child of God. We follow the King of Heaven, not the king of earth. Let us have the courage to imitate the ways of Jesus, our true and only King.
After the inspirational homily, we recited a prayer with all the youth. The members of the youth group made a banner with a significant phrase that Pope Francis proposed for the 37th World Youth Day, 2022-2023: "Mary arose and went with haste" (Lk 1:39). They also, participated in singing in the choirs, serving as lectors, ushers, and Eucharistic Ministers. Alongside the celebration of the Eucharist, we had a gathering at the parish hall with some activities and fellowship. As youth came in, they were invited to decorate the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and attached it to the banner of the event.
In attendance were over thirty youths who joined in. Fr. Brian Strassburger, SJ, introduced The Global Celebration of Young People and gave a brief history of the celebration. Afterward, we watched a video of Pope Francis, offering a message of hope and encouragement to the young people. This introduction was followed by a game called, “Bridges and Beavers”. We invited all the youth to get on their feet and join in the game that had everyone running around and laughing.
After wearing ourselves out, we watched a video with the theme song for World Youth Day 2023 which will take place in Portugal. We concluded our celebration by enjoying pizza and donuts. Overall, it was a fun and energizing event for the youth of the parish. An event of coming together to share our faith and strengthen the faith of our youth and the adults of tomorrow who will lead our church.
Youth Group Leaders.
Young and United with Christ.