Love Begins Here finishes 11th summer of doing small things with great love Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
love begins here
The LBH car group with their leader, Becky Phillips, third from left, and homeowner Terri Jozwiak, far right, along with her son, Paul, second from right, who serves as an LBH leader during the summer season. (Catholic Herald photos/Kevin Wondrash)

SAUK CITY/LODI -- “We will find ourselves and come alive when we make a sincere gift of ourselves to our neighbors.”

As stated in part of its mission manifesto, hundreds of teens in the Diocese of Madison came alive this summer as they participated in Love Begins Here.

Love Begins Here (LBH) is an apostolate of the Diocese of Madison Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

Now having completed 11 years, LBH provides youth with an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ in a life-changing way through weeklong local mission trips where they live in community and continue God’s work on earth.

This year, LBH passed the 100,000 hours of service mark for the decade plus.

With separate weeks for middle and high school aged students, LBH finished 2019 with its home base at Divine Mercy Parish in Sauk City.

From there, the teens and their car group leaders headed out to various work sites in the area to help others.

Doing it for God and neighbor

One car group of four teens, with their leader Becky Phillips, director of youth ministry at Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon, got the chance to do quite a bit of outside work for their neighbors.

“A lot of weeding,” said sophomore Faith Holler from St. Norbert Parish in Roxbury. “I’m pretty sure I did weeding the whole week.”

In doing the work, Holler added, “It feels really good because I live in this town . . . I realize that a lot of people where I live need help.”

One work assignment took them to the home of Terri Jozwiak of Lodi, who needed some help with, of course, weeding, and staining a deck in her backyard.

“It’s really nice, because these are some things I couldn’t get to,” said Jozwiak. “It’s way better now, it’s beautiful, and it’s all in one day.”

Sophomore Amelie Hirscher from St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison enjoyed doing the work, as well as making new friends.

“We all share the faith so well and all together,” Hirscher said and added, “When we finish the job, it’s really satisfying, [we] see them so grateful that we came through to do our work.”

In an even more local example of staying close to home, this particular car group of teens also helped at St. Aloysius School, part of Divine Mercy Parish.

They helped out with some needed cleaning before the school year gets underway.

Faith and fun

Along with the work part of the trip, there is time during the week to relax with God and others.

The teens and leaders attend daily Mass, have daily prayer time, and also have opportunities for Confession and Eucharistic Adoration.

Every day also includes games and pool time after the long workday.

For more information on Love Begins Here in the Diocese of Madison, go to

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