Dear Friends of St. Pius V Parish,
In this final month of 2017, as we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe and mark the holy seasons of Advent and Christmas, I thank all of you for your prayers, volunteer service, and donations throughout this past year!
One of the highlights of 2017 for me has been the growth of our weekly program for youth preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. We have transformed a one-year preparation process into a comprehensive two-year faith and human development program that involves 60 of our youth and their parents.
While so many have shared their gifts to make this happen, I am pleased to feature the three young people pictured above right – Alex, Andrea, and Giselle – who were among the first to complete the program and were confirmed last spring. They also made the decision to return this year as volunteers – a wonderful reflection of the strength of the program!
“The teachers were just so involved and got to know each and every one of us,” says Giselle, a sophomore at Hancock College Prep. “Within a few months of my first year here I felt myself grow in my faith and now I just want to continue to get more involved. I want to help other kids feel that same way I felt.”
Andrea, a junior at Whitney Young High School, values the need for support in the life of a young teen. “That’s the moment when it’s your choice to be here or not. You want to grow closer in your relationship with God and your connection with Him. These are the most important years and kids sometimes just need a guide to help them.”
“It impacted me a lot,” says Alex, a sophomore at Bloom Trail High School. “I was always seen as a bad person. Coming here for two years, it was different. Helping other people helps me get my mind off things that are going on in my life and makes me feel like the good person I am.”
“I was always seen as a bad person.
Coming here for two years, it was different.”
I pray that those words may be a reminder and guide for us during these holy days of Advent and Christmas, to see ourselves and one another with the eyes of faith.
To read more about the highlights from our parish life in 2017 please click here. And the latest news from our parish school can be found here.
Again, I thank you and all who have supported the work of our parish in 2017, allowing us to be instruments of God’s grace. May the blessings of the Prince of Peace be with you and your loved ones now and in the new year!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. José M. Santiago, OP
P.S. Your donation helps us to grow our ministries and outreach to youth and others in our community. Please consider a gift via the enclosed envelope or online here.