We had a chance to be at St. John Apostle and Evangelist in Mililani a couple of weeks ago. What a joy that was! A chance to attend Mass at another parish -- though I love very much the Cathedral of Our Lady or Peace, my home parish -- is a much welcome part of our routine.
I was glad to have met Fr. Joel Panzer who's a chaplain from Schofield. He says Mass at St. John's once or twice a week.
After Mass, I made it a point to gather the children for a picture with him -- a great and simple move to get our youth connected with our priests. Oftentimes, teenagers are reluctant to approach the clergy after Mass, unless they know the priest. Do make your observations. Who normally approaches the priest after Mass? The sad and happy truth is that about 80% of those are about 50 years of age and over.
Sometimes I do see young families approach the priest to get their little ones blessed. How wonderful that is!
Here are some simple tips for parents and grandmothers to follow: get your teenager instead to approach father to bless your rosary, tell your son or daughter to ask the priest a question, send your children to the priest to deliver a message for you, ask your children to make drawings for the priest saying the Mass you are attending and have him or her give it to him personally, etc.
Let the Holy Spirit guide us! for she has the best answers, solutions and ideas. And, we, on our part, must cooperate to find ways to bring our children closer to our priests and to our Church. Hopefully, we are also planting seeds of vocations to the Church by doing so.
St. John Vianney, pray for us!