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Food for the Soul: Behold Your Mother

Peter Clem No Comments

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This month, we as Catholics place a special emphasis on the gift of Mary, the Mother of God. Fr. Jack, during his monthly Food for the Soul reflection, spent some time offering reflections of how we can turn to Mary and the graces that come from her motherly embrace. Check out the video below and be sure to mark down June 12th for the next Food for the Soul!

First Annual Norfolk Golf Tournament

John Lilly No Comments

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The needs of our Norfolk Community have been growing ever since Chip, Andrew, and Fr. Mike first ventured down to Old Dominion four years ago. Now, with the presence of Youth Apostles growing in the Hampton Roads area, there existed a need to increase revenue.

The answer was found in hosting our first annual golf tournament at Sewells Point in Norfolk, VA. Local members of the Norfolk community made up our golf committee, including two from Colley Ave Copies. They gave us valuable feedback throughout the past few months in regards to prices, sponsorship information, prizes, and much more. We are extremely grateful for their help!

IMG_5720A beautiful, picture-perfect day kicked off the tournament. As they arrived for check in, they were warmly greeted by staff and volunteers. Each golfer received a goody bag and a boxed lunch. Many decided to practice their swing at the driving range, while others opted for the putting green. After warming up and grabbing a bite, golfers teed off promptly at noon.

There were numerous highlights throughout the day. Though there were only 13 foursomes (52 golfers total), all of them had a great time on the course. The surprisingly open course allowed the golfers to finish in about four hours! This is typically unheard of for tournaments. They were delighted to get done early, and begin eating as quickly as possible.

A handful of ODU students were also present as volunteers throughout different parts of the day. They welcomed the golfers, handed out lunches, and took pictures.

IMG_5768Raffle prizes and awards were handed out during dinner. Darrell Larch, Bart Barton, John Swingle and Matt Daugherty won first place and Mike Bennett, Nikki Bennett, Fr. Jack, and Jim Mueller won second place. Other prizes given out included gift cards, Bridgestone golf balls, and a golf-tune up with a local golf pro.

The day yielded between $3,000 and $4,000 in profits. We are extremely grateful for God blessing us on this adventure, and we hope to see everyone again next year!

A big thank you goes to our committee members and Colley Ave Copies. Their help ensured we had a successful and enjoyable golf tournament in 2015.

Good Friday Stations in McLean

jmundell No Comments

As I bask in the light of Easter joy, I remember what made this possible. I recall the sacrifice Jesus made on Good Friday for each and every one of us. On this most recent Good Friday morning I looked out the window of our Youth Apostles house in McLean and saw a long procession of minivans and cars. Our circle was so full that many of them had to park on the street. Moms and dads, children young and old emerged from their vehicles. They were all coming to the Stations of the Cross at the Youth Apostles house.

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Fr. Ramon Dominguez, YA has done a Holy Half Hour on the first Friday of each month for a number of years now. Children of all ages come with their moms and dads to a special half hour of adoration in our chapel and then snacks and playtime downstairs. There have been a few years where Good Friday falls on the first Friday of the month. It is on those years that instead of adoration, Fr. Ramon has done the Stations of the Cross.

 

IMG_5261When it is a nice day they will use the outdoor Stations of the Cross on the path between the Youth Apostles house and St. John the Beloved Catholic Church. However, on this particular Good Friday it was raining, which, while somewhat unfortunate, seemed very fitting. Fr. Ramon was already prepared for Plan B which was doing the Stations of the Cross in our chapel. There I was, watching about 60 parents and children file into the chapel. Fr. Ramon was amazingly calm with all the noise and activity around him. He had one child volunteer to hold the cross at each station. As they went from one station to the next I could tell that the children were anxiously awaiting their turn to hold the cross.

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What a beautiful sight this was! So many families were able to pray and participate in the Stations of the Cross. All the children were certainly making a joyful noise to the Lord but at Youth Apostles they were in good company. I couldn’t help but think back to the actual Stations of the Cross over 2,000 years ago. I am sure there must have been an enormous amount of noise and bustling around. Yet there were many people like Simon of Cyrene and the weeping women who were touched by seeing Jesus as He carried His cross. I am grateful Fr. Ramon provided this opportunity for families to gather and be touched by these same events!

 

Jonathan Mundell is a lifetime Consecrated Full Member in Youth Apostles. He recently made his lifetime consecration on December 13, 2014. He is currently serving as the Vocations Promoter for Youth Apostles.

Happy Easter 2015

Peter Clem No Comments

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From all of us here at Youth Apostles, Happy Easter! Fr. Jack shares a quick reflection on this most wondrous morning. He is truly risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Holy Thursday Reflection

Peter Clem No Comments

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Today we enter into the Triduum, the most important days of the year for us as Catholics. We begin tonight with the celebration of the Holy Thursday where we remember the events in the Upper Room where Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood. Fr. Jack shares some of his thoughts on this most holy day. Check out the video below!

Abundance of God

Peter Clem No Comments

This week, Fr. Jack wanted to reflect on the abundance of God and how God constantly expresses his love and care for us in great abundance. Check out the video below!

Give thanks because he lives!

John Lilly No Comments

This season of Lent is a great opportunity for spiritual growth. It can be, though, a drag at times due to the cold weather, failing in our resolutions, etc. Lent always seems to come at the toughest time of the year. I wish it came during the summer; it would be much easier to not eat meat on a nice, sunny day in July. But alas, this is not the case!

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Youth Apostles Ash Wed selife with Fr. Mike and Jimmy.

However, it’s still vitally important to be thankful during this time. Our culture often prioritizes the negative, from the weather to the Redskins game. This lack of joy is contagious. When one person complains, it’s easy to jump in and complain as well. The spirits of bitterness, moodiness, and grumbling can easily take hold of us. Often it’s good to remind ourselves of the good things God has placed in our lives. Specific things, not just general things like “the air I breathe” or “I had a nice dinner.” Concrete things! Be thankful for good memories, time spent with loved ones, a laugh shared with a brother, or a Chipotle burrito.

One of the things that I’ve been thankful for is this song by Matt Maher. It’s powerful not only because of the music, but the words behind it. At the Life Is Very Good Rally in January at the Patriot Center, Matt shared a powerful testimony. He had a disease that he thought was going to take his life. He struggled with this for the majority of his life. Just last year, a new drug came out that provided a cure for him. As a result, he wrote this song. Even though he felt dead and abandoned by God, Jesus lived in him. When he was too weak to stand, Jesus took the stand for him. This is something that has resonated in my own prayer life. Christ is greater than any struggle, any sin, or any hardship that I will bear in this life. “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”

 

YA 21st Annual Pro-life Essay Contest Is On!

Peter Clem No Comments

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The Youth Apostles Institute is holding its 21st annual pro-life essay contest! The theme is “Be Pro-life Because…”

Through the contest, we hope to provide a means by which young people may express their pro-life beliefs and the values they have been taught. We also hope to provide an activity that may find to be a useful supplement or complement to classroom instruction, ministry, and home instruction.

There will be two divisions: Junior (grades 7 and 8) and Senior (grades 9-12). Prizes include first place ($100), second place ($75), and third place ($50). Honorable mention certificates also will be awarded.

Entries may be on paper or in electronic form and are to be up to 400 words long. They must include:unborn baby

* Name

* Grade level

* School OR youth group/youth community OR parish if home schooled

* School address OR parish address OR home address if home schooled

Entries must address the topic and express a pro-life view embracing respect for unborn

human life. Entries must be mailed, delivered, or sent by e-mail by Monday, April 20, 2015 to:

John Iekel

Youth Apostles Institute

1600 Carlin Lane

McLean, Virginia 22101

E-mail address: jfiekel@gmail.com

If they are to be delivered, please call (703) 556-0914 to notify.

All entries become the property of the Youth Apostles Institute and will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please leave a message at (703) 556-0914.

Fr. Jack Celebrating 200th Anniversary of St. John Bosco

Peter Clem No Comments

DBC-161351-26617115Last Friday, Fr. Jack was invited to the Don Bosco Christo Del Rey High School in Takoma Park, Maryland to celebrate Mass and be the main celebrant. This was a particularly special day because it was to remember the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco. During his homily, Fr. Jack talked about how St. John Bosco meant a great deal to him personally. He shared this story from his visit to Turin where the great saint is from:DBC-161351-26617134

“We made our way up to the main altar, and then I turned to the right and there was Don Bosco’s tomb. I was drawn to the kneelers in front of his remains. I put my head down to pray and I found myself weeping for about 15 minutes. My love for him and the connection that I felt with Him overwhelmed me like a title wave. I was so close to him, his beloved oratory, where he labored so hard for so many years, in the Church that he build in honor of the Blessed Mother…It was a profound experience of a saint who had truly become my spiritual companion.”

He went on to encourage the youth that “When we have a mom, dad, uncle, aunt, teacher, youth worker, priest or coach that cares for us, spends time with us, advocates for us, encourages us, spend lots of time thanking God for them.” Fr. Jack spoke of the many great qualities of St. John Bosco and why the boys were willing to listen to him, particularly the great care he showed. It was in loving that they listened to him. He spoke about how St. John Bosco often taught the boys that being a good Christian meant being a good citizen. He went on to clarify that a faith-filled Christian:

  • Is responsible for their daily duties, persevering in the face of obstacles;
  • Is generous with others, especially those in need;
  • Is committed to living high moral standards even when others around them are not;
  • Is quick to address an important need even at personal expense.

Finally, he concluded his homily talking about a modern day mentor in his own life, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who led Fr. Jack during his formative years in seminary and continues to stay in touch when he is in the DC area.

Three New Full Members!

Peter Clem No Comments

Last week, Joey McDermott, Benj Emrich, and Peter Maurer made their Full Member commitments to Youth Apostles. It was a joyous evening with a holy hour, Mass, and reception. Over 80 people were in attendance to support these men in their commitment for the next year. We thank God for their sacrifices for community and the gift they are to the Church and its young people. Rafael Gil-Figueroa also renewed his candidate commitment because he has to be back for grad school before our annual retreat. Our hope is that many more men will look to their example of stepping up and join in our mission.

 

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