The summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I participated in a week-long program offered through the Diocese of Owensboro called Christian Leadership Institute (CLI). The participants learn leadership skills in a faith based atmosphere. High school students came from various places in the diocese to gather under the leadership of faith filled adults on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph. It was the best week of my summer.
It just so happens, that this week, CLI is again being held on the Mount Saint Joseph campus. Instead of being one of the CLI members in training, looking across the campus to where the Ursuline Sisters live, I am now a member of the Ursuline Sisters and looking across the campus to where the young people are being formed in Christian leadership.
On Monday of last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of high school students that are in the Living and Leading with Love (L3) Youth Theology Institute at Brescia University. https://www.brescia.edu/l3 Then on Friday, I attended the presentations of their class projects. I was inspired by the depth of faith that these young people developed and shared with us.
Lots of great things are happening within the Church and this gives me great hope for the future. It also inspires me to be a better religious. I wonder how many of the hearts of the participants of these two groups are being inspired to be leaders in the Church as consecrated religious or priests.
How do we inspire young people to seek and respond to a religious vocation? This quote from T.S. Elliot sums it up: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”