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Finding a moment of faith in chaos

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

August 15, 2018

Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. – 1Timothy 4:12


That’s not something you hear every day working in Catholic media. Yet those were the words I heard as I entered the evening program of one of our two Catholic camps for teens in the diocese. This time, it was Catholic Heart Work Camp.

Flashing lights, music and fog filled the gym in which the campers had gathered. The teens, and even a few of the chaperoning adults, were dancing and singing along with the music.

Despite the high volume of the music, another noise soon sounded out above the tunes: the fog machine tripped the smoke alarms.

The adults were obviously rattled. They scrambled to get the teens out of the building and into a nearby courtyard, contact the facility maintenance staff and wait for the fire department. It would be a couple of hours before the teens would be cleared to re-enter the building.

But the teens weren’t phased. They moved their dance party outside. Not only did they have their music and fun, they followed it with outdoor adoration. What seemed like a stressful moment for the adult staff was, for the campers, an adventure. They turned an evacuation into an opportunity for outdoor fun infused with faith.

We have an amazing young church here in the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Interviewing them about their experiences at various camps and events, I’m blown away by their love of God, their willingness to express it, and the beauty with which they do so. I’m impressed by their ability to find God in even less-than-ideal moments.

I pray these youth are open to the grace they need to stay connected to the Lord as they advance in age. I pray the rest of us are open to the grace we need to guide them along the way and take inspiration from them.

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