By Byron Macias CMF
Yesterday I had a meeting with young Joshua, a 14-year-old who wants to build some benches around a fire pit we have in the church. Joshua said: “I want to build this up for the Claretian Youth.” I was really touched by his willingness to do something from our youth group; I was even more moved by the fact that a year ago, he had no idea who St. Anthony Claret, Claret Way, or Claretian Youth were.
I am a Claretian Missionary and as such I was assigned to St. Paul Catholic Newman Center, in Fresno, California, which ministers to college students and also regular parishioners of all ages. We do a lot of activities with our college students, such as Bible Study, College Night and Masses, Tacos and Theology classes, Games and Outings, etc.
Yet, the teens had no program for them. Then, knowing that we have a marvelous Claretian youth worldwide, I wanted to bring it to our teens. They embraced it lovingly and we started meeting last spring.
Then, some of our college students became leaders of the Claretian Youth and have the group going up to now, despite the pandemic interruptions. With the Claretian Youth, we follow the Claret Way compass: to Know, Love, Serve and Praise God and make others do so.
I’m so happy when I hear that our youth know Father Claret’s apostolic prayer and have a special love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
With the college students, we have a mainstream radio show called “Camino Claret” every Tuesday at 2pm.
My heart if filled with gratitude to God, Saint Anthony Claret and the Claretian Missionaries for making it possible to plant seeds of future rooted and audacious missionaries in the daily life!
Fresno, California, USA.