10,000 Screaming 7-Year-Olds

For the record, this is probably the most unsettling episode picture I’ve designed for They That Hope. Apparently, it was created by AI, which is a nice nod to our previous episode. I just searched for “screaming children” and this was one of the things that came up. I’m sure I’ll have some kind of nightmare about it.

I begin this episode by reading a stanza of a poem titled “Sorrow” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. This reflects how my sports week went. First, the Cavs were knocked out of the first round of NBA playoffs in Game 6. Then, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime of game 7. The series had three overtime games… Tampa lost all three of them.

But the Pirates are doing well. Yes, I mentioned a baseball team in a positive light. That is how low I am right now. Though I am taking Aidan to a game this Sunday, and I “think” Father Dave will be there. He was going to be, until he found out it is “Kids Day”. He said he wasn’t looking forward to 10,000 screaming 7-year-olds. I thought the episode picture was a good representative of his darkest fears. I’m sure he’ll have some kind of nightmare about it.

We have a great conversation about the many apostolates in the Church today and how important they are in the mission of evangelization. We included our Steubenville Conferences in that group. Though some people discount “event ministry,” both Fr. Dave and I have been blessed by them, and have seen people’s lives change through them. No, our faith can’t be sustained by just one “event,” but often God can use those moments as a spark for lifelong conversion. A ministry need not be all things to all people. It can do one thing well, and hope other ministries can fill in the other needs that are out there.

Fr. Dave is celebrating his 27th year as a priest on Thursday! He talked about how being a priest now is very different than when it was when he was ordained, especially because of the sexual scandals that have devastated so many people. To state the obvious, the greatest victims of this were the people who were abused by those whom they trusted to lead them to God. However, there is a secondary effect on those holy men who have been faithful to their call but now have to be constantly vigilant to avoid even the slightest inference of anything that might be seen as inappropriate with young people. This isn’t said out loud too often, but one of the reasons the Church doesn’t invest more in youth ministry is because many priests are afraid of doing anything with teenagers. One accusation of impropriety, no matter how unfounded, can ruin their life. Let us all keep praying for our Church and our young.

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