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11/19/2012 10:05:00 AM
Students reflect on service, then do it
Holy Cross Parish photo by Shaun Ghyselinck
A crew of Holy Cross confirmation candidates work on a project.
Holy Cross Parish photo by Shaun Ghyselinck
A crew of Holy Cross confirmation candidates work on a project.

 The almost 50 confirmation students from Holy Cross Parish in North Portland started their formation this fall by reflecting on Christian service and then serving.

The youths, who attend both Catholic and private high schools, heard the Gospel story of Zacchaeus, the shifty tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus, who had been teaching and doing good works in the area, looks up and announces that he will be coming to pay a visit to Zacchaeus. The tax collector gratefully welcomes the master and soon decides to make reparations for his cheating ways.  

The story embodies inspiration, belonging, gratitude and service, said Karen Mertens, director of religious education at Holy Cross.

“Much of what we can do as Christians, followers of the way Jesus lived, are not huge, extraordinary acts of heroism, but small, ordinary acts of service in our everyday lives,” Mertens said. “These can help us be better people, can help build God’s kingdom on Earth.”

The students fanned out to do yard projects at homes of elderly parishioners and on the church grounds. They came back to the parish hall for prayer, pizza and conversation. In addition to prayer and study, a future session will be held at the Northwest Medical Teams headquarters, which recreates conditions in the developing world.



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