Check out what 4 teens from our Youth Group have to say about their StPYG experience:
[His experience on the Encounter the Gospel of Life Service Trip, Summer 2013]
"The Encounter experience was very life changing especially because I was assigned to work at a men’s homeless shelter called the Father McKenna Center for a week. While I was there I not only learned about the other boys in my group but we spent a lot of time socializing with the homeless men. What we expected was nothing like what we found out, the men were often well educated, had jobs, and were much like normal people. One of the men I talked to said, “we’re just people the only thing separating me and you was one bad decision I made a long time ago that messed me up for life.” By the end of the week the men were sorry to see us go and said they talked to us like their sons because they couldn’t talk to their own. The camp changed my entire viewpoint on life but especially on the homeless and others in need because they are really just like us."
"What is Saint Paul's youth group. To me, it is a place to make friends, share smiles and contagious laughter. Whether it be playing some outlandish game or hanging out, I always feel welcomed and part of the group. To me, it is a place of adventure. Ice skating in DC, Youth Rally mass and retreats like Encounter, there will always be opportunities to take my gifts elsewhere. But most of all, to me, it is a place to let go and let God. No one can do everything alone, and here at STPYG, I realized that. Its a place where you can find God or to strengthen your relationship with him. Its a place to find your gifts and use them for him. So to me, STPYG is a group I am glad to be part of, and one that everyone should come to."
"Even before I started high school, my mom would talk to me about StPYG. She had heard that the youth group there was great and she wanted me to get out of my comfort zone. Every time we passed by the church she would ask me if I wanted to go. I always said no. However, it had always been at the back of my mind. I finally said yes to St PYG when my friend Livy, whom I knew from Journalism class, asked me if I wanted to go on the Miraculous Retreat. I had just come back from Mount 2000-- a retreat that really did change my life. The retreat 'high' was fading away and I felt in my heart that God wanted me to go. I was nervous-- yes I knew people from school that went there, but I was still reluctant. But all of those worries went out the window the first night of retreat. Everyone greeted me, hugged me, laughed with me. I found people that got my jokes and had the same hunger for God as I did. There was no one that was excluded-- we all came together, like a family. This is what StPYG is, a family. And even though I haven't known all of these wonderful people for that long, they are all special and bathed in God's light. I was struggling with a lot of things for the longest time and that night at adoration, I walked up to one of the prayer groups and told them one of my biggest worries. They held me as I cried and their strong arms, strong hearts and powerful faith washed over me and it was the first step to my healing. Even though everything hasn't completely gone away, I still am fighting against it, the Miraculous Retreat was one that left me with beautiful memories and a new motto to live by: "faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains." And during that weekend, I finally realized how everlasting God's love is and how he has been, and always will be, by my side. It also introduced me to a whole group of people that have made me smile, laugh, cry, and enjoy God's work and love. I thank God for using Livy in giving me that final push and allowing me to be part of this youth group. StPYG will always have open arms, a huge grin, and will cover you with an immense love."
"After spending three of my four high school years participating in St. Paul's Youth Ministry team, I was
able to gain two of the greatest things in life: some of the closest friends I could ever ask for and an
ever-growing relationship with God. One great thing about youth group is that you can be completely
and totally yourself. As I write this in my college dorm room, I'm even a little jealous of those high
school students that have the opportunity to become a youth group leader or that can even just go to the events that take place. My relationship with God, my peers, and the adult leaders grew so close
that it was tough to leave behind, but I am excited for this new chapter in my life because I know I have moved on to college with a foundation in my faith that I know will help me keep strengthening my relationship with God."
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