Ryan Schweitzer, a recent convert and parishioner of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Flushing, walked through a Holy Door in Switzerland last spring on a pilgrimage with Father Gordon Reigle, pastor of St. Robert and Good Shepherd Parish in Montrose. That gave him an idea.
Humble. A simple, nuanced word was the term 17-year-old Brady Falor relied on to describe the impact of his most recent mission trip. “I’ve changed. I am humbled knowing I have more than the basic necessities of living. I’m very privileged to have a home and food. I don’t complain anymore.”
For Rebecca Berkemeier, still waters run deep. Any given day might find this rising Jackson Lumen Christi freshman playing saxophone, running cross country, checking Pinterest, watching Netflix or hanging out with close friends. In her last year of middle school, she participated in music ministry and Builders’ Club, and earned the Service Award for her class. The youngest of a musical family, Becca especially loves worship music because it opens channels to a deeper connection with God.
Stranded on the highway for life
Grace Benz had heard about the March for Life from her older siblings, and she couldn’t wait to experience the annual event firsthand with her eighth-grade class from Spiritus Sanctus Academy (SSA) in Plymouth. But she got more than she bargained for when the group wound up in the middle of a snowstorm that delayed their return – and allowed Grace to trust God in a whole new way.
For Ciara Ferris and her family, 2016 began on a high note that is still gracing their lives. As an eighth-grader at St. Francis of Assisi school, Ciara traveled with her choir to sing at St. Peter’s Basilica for the 2016 New Year’s Day Mass, and her parents and younger sister got to go along.
“Every five years, we get invited,” says Ciara.
The well-respected choir participated in the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores, an organization that brings together Catholic youth choirs from around the world.