'Love Begins" where we are Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Jane McAuliffe, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Two “Love Begins Here” participants paint walls during their time in Monroe recently. The weeklong mission projects held around the diocese offered teens an opportunity to experience service in a local setting. (Contributed photo)

MONROE -- Recently St. Clare of Assisi Parish has been gifted with 100 teens who stepped up to be part of a local mission project called Love Begins Here. They came together from Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, and Monroe to reach out and lend a hand.

Love Begins Here, under the able direction of Lindsay Becher, is sponsored by the Madison Diocese. The program takes its inspiration from Mother Teresa, who cautioned that we couldn’t love people over “there” and ignore the people here. So, for this week the crew filled the needs in our neighborhood, both Monroe and Brodhead, and multiplied goodness, kindness, and service.

They have cleaned out garages, washed windows, weeded fields, painted decks, scrubbed chairs, desks, walls . . . You name it and they tackled it! They worked at the Family Promise Day Center where they cleaned and scraped and painted. They headed out to Pleasant View where they did all sorts of jobs including painting, weeding, watering, and, of course, visiting. They pitched in at St. Victor School where they cleaned, sorted, hauled stuff to a dumpster, and painted. And the list goes on . . .

These teens slept on the floor of both the school and parish center — no “sleep number” mattresses were provided. They got up early to pray for themselves and the community they served. They cooked breakfast and dinner for each other.

The energy and faith commitment they brought to the community was amazing. They have not only worked together, they have prayed together and played together. As one teen put it: “It was an awesome experience that proved that teens can make a difference!”

They have made a difference. Hopefully, more of our teenagers will join next year and spread the love to this community and others.

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