The Aftermath

Posted: December 7, 2012 in feasts/celebrations, spanish

The night started with something of a disaster.  Mass ran late giving me much less time than I wanted to set up.  Then my volunteers were nowhere to be seen.  With 5 minutes until 6pm (the proposed staring time for the novena), I was grabbing any student and explaining that they would stand behind the ambo in front of the entire Church, explain one of the Luminous Mysteries, and say a decade of the rosary in English or Spanish. It would have been a hard sell, but I didn’t give them a choice. It was do or die time.

All of them were nervous. No one wanted to be up there. Some didn’t know even know the prayers. (I made sure this couldn’t be an excuse and printed double sided English/Spanish sheets for them). I told them how nervous I was to speak Spanish in front of the whole Church and how I was going to have to wing the “theme of the day” speech to start things off (The theme was “peace and love in the hearts of the youth”). In a last minute decision, I had all of the participating youth stand in front ,facing the congregation to support each other.

The Novena began with a less than inspiring Spanish performance by me. I blame cotton-mouth and my flustered state for it. But then, something happened.  I saw parents filming their kids saying the the decades. It didn’t matter if they were doing well or struggling, the parents were just proud their children were becoming leaders in the Church.

The novena ended with an energetic canto. It felt like a party. People were laughing and cheering.

You really know things went well though when the abuelas of the community are flagging me over to tell me how beautiful the novena was.  They were floored that I got teenagers to stand in front of the Church for an hour and pray with them.  One woman in particular grabbed me to hug me and explained that one of the youth testimony was “muy bonita” and “fuerte”.  She was struck by how much this “joven” had grown and how much he had to offer now.  I was beaming. I was proud of my youth group and confirmation students (and I understood the whole conversation in Spanish!)

The closing prayer for the evening:

“Señor Dios, gracias por reunirnos esta noche con los jóvenes de nuestra comunidad. Permítanos ser inspirados por la paz y el amor que tienen en sus corazones. Es un regalo precioso de ti. Ayúdanos a mostrar amor a los demás, como su Madre María. Te lo pedimos por medio de su Santo Nombre, y con el intercessin de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Amen.”

“Lord God, thank you for bringing us together tonight with the youth of our community. Allow us to be inspired by the peace and love that they hold in their hearts. It is a precious gift from you. Help us to show love to others like your Mother Mary did. We pray this through your Holy Name and with the intercessin of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Amen.”

  1. says:


    I am so glad that your novena ended up going so well. I am humbled that my son is caring for souls. God loves you and so do I!


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