Life Teen came to my parish in 2001, and it is the reason why I am Catholic. Life Teen started in 1985 at a parish in Mesa, Arizona, and it has become the largest movement in Catholic Youth Ministry currently. It is a Eucharist- centered movement that leads teenagers and families into a deeper relationship with Christ and His Church. I attribute Life Teen to the reason why I am a youth minister because my youth minister reminded me constantly that I am known and loved by God. As a young person in High School, I was seeking purpose and I found it through meeting Jesus in Adoration at a Life Teen sponsored retreat. I realized that all the things I wanted in life —success, affirmation by my peers, extra-curricular activities, dating relationships — were never able to satisfy the desires of my heart. All these things were temporary and I was created for the Eternal One who loved me perfectly.
On the altar, in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I found my purpose.At that time, it wasn’t Jesus telling me that I should become a “Youth Minister” but Jesus said quietly in my heart, “Only I (Jesus) can satisfy you.” Life Teenbecame the place that I encountered Jesus and my life has never been thesame since. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples – “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Life Teen was the door that Jesus used to help me find Him.