Teens are involved at Lancaster parish Print
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Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Lancaster DTS
Teen members of St. Clement Parish in Lancaster line up for dinner at the start of a monthly Dead Theologians Society meeting at the church. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

LANCASTER -- Each month, a group of teens gather at St. Clement Parish to grow closer to God and each other.

Part of the parish’s religious education program, it’s the Dead Theologians Society (DTS).

DTS is a Catholic apostolate for teens that inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow through learning about the saints of yesterday.

Each week in their religious education classes, the teens learn about a new saint, which corresponds with what they are learning in DTS.

The teens, and their parents, volunteer to bring food for a meal for each meeting, which is followed by a talk, praying the Rosary, and Eucharistic Adoration in the church.

Visit from Sister

During a recent DTS meeting, the freshmen and sophomores were visited by a guest speaker: Sr. M. Deanne Niehaus from the Schoenstatt Sisters of Madison. Sister Deanne spoke to the teens about her order’s founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.

She told the teens about how Father Kentenich started the movement and also the great challenges in his life, including being imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II and accepting the mission God had for him.

"If God has us here, he has us here for a mission," Sister Deanne said. "That can be an encouragement for all of us wherever we're at, whatever school we go to, God has given each of us a personal mission to bring his love and honor to wherever we are."

Sister Deanne’s visit to St. Clement was part of a growing relationship the parish and school have with the order. Before speaking at DTS, she spent most of the day meeting with the younger students at the school in their classes.

"I've always liked working with kids, so for me it's been very inspiring," she said. "It's inspiring to see that they care about their faith and to learn more . . . they ask such great questions."

The school is also hosting a traveling picture of Mother Thrice Admirable, an image of Mary as the queen and victress of Schoenstatt.

"Schoenstatt is a movement that promotes striving for holiness, especially in the everyday situations of everyday life, and the school, the teachers, and the parents are working to try and form an environment where that can take place," said Sister Deanne.

Active inside, outside the parish

The teens at St. Clement are also active in their faith inside and outside of the parish.

Some of them serve at Mass, volunteer at parish events -- such as busing tables and making chicken for the annual Fall Festival -- and take part in the summer Love Begins Here (LBH) mission trips for teens.

At LBH, the teens helped elderly people with cleaning in their homes, painting inside and out, and even building a shed.

"It's really fun and it feels good inside that you know you’re helping other people," said freshman Lauren Stelpflug.

"It's pretty cool," said freshman Joey Racker. "It's relieving to know that what you're doing is actually something good."

"It feels good to help out the parish," said sophomore Austin Mumm. "It feels good to do something for other people and to help out with everything that goes on."

Looking ahead

St. Clement Parish wants to keep the teens active and involved after they are confirmed.

The parish is working on developing a strong youth ministry program "that is attractive to our teens after they are confirmed and gives them support in actively living the life of a confirmed Catholic," said Kitty Mumm, religious education director.

Options for confirmed teens will include service, fun activities, catechesis, and apostolic outreach. The teens will also be encouraged to continue as members of DTS.

Some of the activities will take place in the new Youth Room, recently decorated by the teens, which was once part of the basement in the original convent at the parish.

For more information on St. Clement Parish and School, go to www.saintclementparish.com and www.saintclementschool.com

 
 

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