The St. Gabriel Youth Group was recently formed and is open to all youth in Grades 8-12. The moderator of the group is Fr. Rich, associate pastor of St. Gabriel. The theme of the group is “Making A Difference” and we are hoping to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth group members, as well as other people in the community. We are young Catholics who are committed to doing Christian service, especially to those in need. Our group provides opportunities for fun, fellowship, service, and spiritual growth. It is our goal to use the talents and abilities of all the members, so that we can realize our fullest potential as a group, and we want the members to take “ownership” of the group, as much as possible, in setting goals and planning events. If someone wants more information about our group, or would like to become a member, please contact Fr. Rich (773-268-9595 or email@example.com ). Also, we are always looking for adults to assist us in a variety of ways (as drivers, chaperones, etc.).
St. Gabriel Youth Group Feeds the Hungry
On Saturday, Sept. 13th, a total of 55 teens and adults travelled to St. James Parish (29th & Wabash) and volunteered to help feed the hungry. Many needy people come to St. James for food assistance each month, and this is the 6th year that our Youth Group has been involved in their program. Our volunteers helped with many tasks such as:hospitality, placing food into plastic bags, distributing various food items to people, helping to carry boxes of food for many of the elderly, and assisting with the clean-up. Hundreds of needy people received food that day. We are so proud of our youth and adults, for putting their faith into action in such a spiritually meaningful way!
The motto of our Youth Group is “Making A Difference”, and we do that by trying to do a service project every month to assist the needy. Our Youth Group is open to any students in grades 8-12. If someone is interested in the group, just call Fr. Rich Creagh, the moderator, at 773-268-9595.
The following people participated: Cynthia Cerino, Savannah Rider, Tom Beyer, Gary Arredia, Marty Botica, Theresa Beyer, Colin Carpenter, Ray Falk, Dylan Jones, Chris Gallivan, Jack Mangan, Joe Eberly, Dominic Caponera, Teresa Caponera, Rob Caponera, Irene Mitchell, Melanie Bilkey, Will Catino, Joanette Catino, Janet McCormick, Tom McCormick, Roger Falk, William Catino, Mike Carroll, Matthew Carroll, Mary Allen, Natalia Almanza, Lorueen Allen, Kylie Bossard, Jillian Halley, Grace McBroom, Karen Rice-Simental, Kathy Rice-Cusack, Gianna Simental, Carly Thiel, Adriana Moreno, Fernando Moreno, Robert Simental, Tom Popp, Samantha Galey, Char Galey, Cassidy Otero, Monica Ney, Toni Botica, Patrick Beyer, Diane Bartucci, Anthony Arredia, Nick Fashingbauer, Quinn Casey, Jack Brazel, Fr. Rich Creagh. Also, 2 members of the St. Gabriel faculty participated: Amy Adams and Kim Schrode (along with her son Adam).
Thanks to all who participated, and got up early on a very cold Saturday morning to help feed the hungry. You all did a fantastic job, and I am very proud of all of you!
Silent Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
A blessed Easter to all of the Youth Group members and your families! On Holy Thursday, our parish celebrated the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At the end of Mass, a solemn procession took place, that brought the Eucharist to the beautifully decorated altar of repose. The tradition of the Catholic Church is that people then pray silently before the Blessed Sacrament. The Youth Group made a commitment that they would maintain a prayer vigil that night, until the Church closed. I am quite proud to say that we have been keeping “vigil” every Holy Thursday for the past 5 years! That’s awesome! I want to thank the participants for their strong faith, and for making this such a spiritually meaningful time.
The following members participated in the vigil, and knelt for a half-hour before the Blessed Sacrament: Ray Falk, Mike Stack, John Paul Hernandez, Quinn Casey, Maura Fogarty, Brittany Miller, Jack Brazel, Haley King, Seamus Sjostrom, and Ryan Sullivan.
This marks the end of our Youth Group activities for another school year. Your participation in our many Christian service projects, has inspired not only me, but many, many others in our Canaryville community, as well as at the various sites we volunteered. Our motto has always been – “Making A Difference”, and I want you to know we certainly accomplished that goal! Carry that “giving” spirit of Christ wherever you go! Thank you!!
We will resume our Youth Group activities in September. I will keep you posted through these e-mails. We always start the school year by helping to feed the hungry at St. James Parish. The date this year will be Saturday, Sept. 13th. If you ever need to talk to me, or need a letter of recommendation, just let me know.
~ Fr. Rich
Youth Group Blood Drive
Our annual Blood Drive, which was held today, Saturday, March 29th, in the school hall, was a huge success! I am so grateful to all the members who distributed “flyers” throughout Canaryville recently to publicize the event. The publicity really “paid-off”! A total of 77 people showed up to donate blood (the most we’ve ever had!). A few donors at the end, had to be turned away, because the workers ran out of vials to hold the blood! We chose the Blood Drive as a special Lenten project. I want to thank the many members of our Youth Group who showed up to volunteer today, as well as the high school students who donated blood. This was our best Blood Drive, because of your hard work and participation. Enjoy the pictures from the day!
~ Fr. Rich
St. Gabriel Youth Group Volunteers at The Greater Chicago Food Depository
On Saturday, Feb. 15th, members of the St. Gabriel Youth Group volunteered for a “food repacking” session at the Greater Chicago Food Depository warehouse. The large building (which is 2 blocks long) stores donated food items that will be distributed to food pantries and organizations that feed the hungry. Our task that day was to work as a team and place loaves of bread and bread rolls into boxes, seal the boxes and label them. The bread was then distributed two days later to the needy. Over three hours, our group packed thousands of pounds of bread into the boxes! The entire group was amazed by how much donated food is stored in the warehouse, and felt good that we were helping to address the needs of the hungry in Chicago. We are extremely proud of our youth group, as well as the adult volunteers, who have participated in many worthy projects to serve the needy this past year! Great job!
Our next project will be our annual blood drive, which will take place on Saturday, March 29th in the St. Gabriel School Hall. If anyone is interested in joining our Christian service-minded group, please contact Fr. Rich. the moderator at 773-268-9595.
The following people participated: Zach Shew, Chris Sauer, Mary Allen, Carly Thiel, Morgan Stewart, Ray Falk, Cassidy Otero, Brittany Miller, Diane Bartucci, Colin Antunez, Adriana Moreno, Fernando Moreno, Jack Brazel, Ryan Sullivan, Madison Scanlon, Mike Stack, Mack Vanek, Mike Vaneck, Robert Reed, and Joe Eberly. Adults who volunteered were Lorueen Allen, Diane Bartucci, Roger Falk, Ted Morgan (principal at St. Gabriel School), and Fr. Rich Creagh (moderator). Thanks to all who participated – you were great!
~ Fr. Rich
St. Gabriel Youth Group Visits Veterans Hospital
On Saturday, January 25th, 33 St. Gabriel Youth Group members and adults visited the Jesse Brown Veterans Hospital in Chicago. This is the 4th year our Youth Group has visited the veterans. Pat Gleason, the director of volunteers at the Hospital, welcomed us and gave an interesting talk about the many ways that veterans are helped there. Afterwards, we broke up into small groups and visited many veterans in their hospital rooms. We brought a variety of gifts that parishioners at St. Gabriel’s had donated, and the veterans were excited to receive them. It was truly a “touching” experience to see our teens interacting so well with the sick veterans, and thanking them for their service to our country. A number of the veterans do not receive too many visitors, so they were excited to see our youth take the time to visit and cheer them up. It was a powerful experience that our teens will never forget! One teen commented: “That was an awesome experience”!
Our Youth Group’s theme is “Making A Difference”, and we are doing that primarily through our Christian service to those in need. Our activities provide a great way to put our faith into action. Our next event will be a trip to volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Feb. 15th. For more information about our group, which is open to students in grades 8-12, please call Fr. Rich, the moderator, at 773-268-9595.
For the group picture, here are the participants: Dylan Woods, Zach Shew, Mary Allen, Kylie Bossard, Jack Brazel, Mercedes Lopez, Morgan Coates, Carly Thiel, Morgan Stewart, Madison Scanlon, Quinn Casey, Mike Vanek, Mack Vanek, Toni Botica, Samantha Galey, Joe Eberly, Kari-Anne Adcock, Teresa Caponera, Mike Coates, Fred Kappel, Natalia Almanza, Chris Sauer. The adults who helped are: Yolanda Caponera, Kathy Dineen, Lorueen Allen, Marty Botica, Char Galey, Katie Gagen, Sylvia Cerino-Sauer, (two teachers from St. Gabriel School – Michael Martinsen and Jackie Janeteas), and Fr. Rich Creagh (moderator).
Thanks to all who participated – it really was a great day! Today, we carried out the words of Jesus – “When I was sick, you visited me”.
~ Fr. Rich
Youth Group Helps Out at the St. Thomas Soup Kitchen
On Sunday Dec. 8th, St. Gabriel’s Youth Group gathered to put together “Christmas Care Packages” that were sent to members of the military, who are from the Canaryville area. As part of an Advent project, the Youth Group collected items for three weeks from parishioners. Included in each of the Care Packages were “letters of support” from the members of the Youth Group. This is the 5th year we have sent the care packages. The Youth Group is very grateful for the many items that people donated, and for the financial contributions that helped to pay for the postage. Surely, the military members will be greatly surprised and thankful for the “everyday” items in their packages. Our next activity will be our annual visit to the Jessie Brown Veterans Hospital on Saturday, Jan. 25th. We thank all those who helped – Anna Sanchez, Brenda Montijo, John Paul Hernandez, Colin Antunez, Quinn Casey, Mike Stack, Carly Thiel, Samantha Galey, Teresa Caponera, Mary Allen, Natalia Almanza, Zach Shew, Dylan Woods, Maura Fogarty, Grace McBroom, Kylie Bossard, Morgan Coates, Matthew Carroll, Seamus Sjostrom, Brittany Miller, Tiffiny Haepp, Madison Scanlon, Toni Botica, and Ryan Sullivan. Adults who assisted included Katie Gagen, Dawn Tremore, Char Galey, Kathy Dineen, and Fr. Rich Creagh (moderator).
Youth Group Helps Out at the St. Thomas Soup Kitchen
The Youth Group travelled to the north side of Chicago on Nov. 1st and volunteered to feed the hungry. We did a variety of tasks, including washing tables, preparing the food, setting the tables, serving the food, and cleaning up. This is the second year that our group has volunteered at St. Thomas, and everyone felt wonderful that we had a chance to help very needy people. As Jesus said – “As long as you did it to one of these least ones, you did it to me!” We are so proud of our youth, who continue to give so generously of their time and talent in assisting those in need! A special word of thanks goes to the adults who drove and chaperoned – Ted Morgan, Megan Sjostrom. Nicole Doyle, Marty Botica, Christine Jones, and Fr. Rich.