7/30/2014 11:29:00 AM Catholic teens serve and pray during summer
St. Anne Parish photo
Youths enjoy a break from work at Joe's Camp.
GRANTS PASS — Catholic teens from Southern Oregon put their faith into action this summer, spending a week during late June sprucing up the homes of elders, cleaning the county fairgrounds, helping people with disabilities, landscaping a local retreat center and cleaning up at a school, including scraping gum off the bottoms of desks.
Teens also prayed for those they helped, listened to faith testimonials, adored Jesus in the Eucharist and went to confession. Each morning before they left to labor, they attended Mass.
Organizer of what is known as Joe’s Camp is St. Anne Youth Ministry, led by youth minister Natalie Scott. This was the third year for the camp and it was the biggest ever, with 52 teens taking part.
“Everyone jumps in to serve the kids,” says Scott.
The Knights of Columbus and parish women made food, much of it donated by merchants. Hundreds of people at the service sites help guide the young workers.
The camp began three years ago for two reasons. Southern Oregon Catholic kids tend to be isolated from big church service days and events and the region is in need of free help because of the extended economic chill.
“I want kids to walk away loving Jesus and his church,” Scott says.