Just spent five full days with the Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Got to meet Barry and Louise, Mary, Ange, Joe, and Jersey. Also met Heidi in spirit. Met Larry and Phyllis. On monday morning, went to CATHOLIC CENTRAL HIGH, a little over 1000 students; HUGE ENERGY…then over to ASSUMPTION HIGH SCHOOL for about 800 students…WILD AND WACKY PARTICIPATION; then the staff of ST THOMAS OF VILLANOVA HIGH for about 65 adults. Tuesday went to ST ANNE
HIGH for 350…THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE WITH THE SPIRIT; then over HOLY NAME SCHOOL in Essex, for five different school staffs, John the Baptist, Our Lady of the Annunciation, St. Bernard, St. Mary, and St. William; about 110 total folks. Frank ran sound. Wherever we went, Frank went to do sound. Nice to have good sound. Nicer to have great sound. Frank delivered.
Next morning Barry and I went to St. John the Baptist elementary school in Belle River. Got to meet over 500 students from four different schools, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, Holy Name and St. William! Got to meet Sam and Liz, Kyle and Connor! They were awesome! Went over to Cardinal Carter High school to work with over 500 students, from four schools; Queen of Peace, St. Louis, St. John de Brebeuf, and Cardinal Carter. Got another 500 students for the 11th and 12th grade about an hour later! Jesse loves Uncle Timmy Horton’s! Another staff gathering…some words of encouragement and an invitation to rediscover our original boldness and original passion. YIKES! Later on that evening, an intimate sharing of word and song with about 30 folks.
Next morning, BRENNAN HIGH SCHOOL where students from St. Rose, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, St. Jules and Our Lady of Lourdes and Brannan showed up. Over 500 strong in song, and power in the participation. LORD HAVE MERCY! Then 1000 high school students from BRENNAN HIGH….Got help from Kyle, Alicia, Alex, and Sarah. The students and their teachers went ballistic on their full, conscious, active and passionate particpation. BAM. WHAM. SPAM! I suddenly found myself possessed by Martin Lawrence and Big Momma. It was way weird. In a cool and scary way. In the early evening, some time with teachers, staff, administration, volunteers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sacred Heart, St. James and St. Rose. Wonderful time with these adults who walk with, work with, teach and learn with young people in the Church. Very exciting. Later that night, I’m sharing time at St. Simon and St. Jude Parish in Belle River. Over 300 people show up and after the evening was over, Nick runs to Tim Horton’s, buys three donuts for a Donut Eating Contest. Surprisingly….I won. Nick, Justin, Danielle, Craig…nuttin but love for y’all!
It has been 15 visits thus far, and on this Friday morning there is only one visit left. At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, students from her and St. Gabriel gather for an hour of my secret recipe of Undercover Catechesis, also known as EVANGELIZATION, also known in 139 countries, the ‘ol WAKE UP AND SHAKE UP THE CHURCH!
In all, I’ve spoken to over 5500 students, 600 to 700 staff, faculty, administration and volunteers, parents, grandparents, adults and elders! Sixteen visits in five days. It was rough. It was rowdy. It was exhausting and exhilarating. Perspiring and inspiring. It was what it was.
A moment in time.
A moment of grace.
A moment to reflect, renew, re-think, re-dedicate, recommit, and maybe even share in a little resurrection regarding Christ, and the mission to walk, talk, stretch, sacrifice, share, surrender, challenge, challenge, wake up, shake up, challenge ourselves, challeng one another, challenge the Church….a moment to remember what this mission is all about.
Going to where folks are….not just waiting for them to come to you. No way. Going to where they are….