Marlene Lauer, a parishioner of Holy Trinity in Glen Burnie, was a chief organizer of the successful Adore-a-thon March 11. There's a story about the night at Church of the Crucifixion coming in the March 17 paper.
She was kind enough to answer some questions for the blog.
Matt: What’s your reaction to how Adore-a-thon went?
Marlene: I'm thrilled that it was so well-attended. I think it was well-organized and the youths who came were open to sitting quietly before the Lord, listening to the vocation panel and enjoyed all the activities we had planned. Lots of planning goes into it and you have to put yourself into that teenage mind to see what will get them excited and make them want to return the following year.
Matt: How far has the Adore-a-thon come in recent years?
Marlene: This was our Third year. It has always been a very blessed night, but this year, we had more participants and more enthusiasm due to the excitement of the returning youths. The planning committee is becoming more creative year after year as well.
Matt: Why do you think it took off this year?
Marlene: We opened it up to the entire archdiocese and advertised well. We had the support of other youth ministers in the area. Returning youths from prior years encouraged their friends to come this year.
Matt: Is there a particular moment you’ll take away from it?
Marlene: When I walked into the Church during the boys Holy Hour and witnessed them quietly praying, I knew some hearts were being touched by God. I can only imagine what the Lord will do with their lives.
Matt: Why do you think some teens are becoming so comfortable with talking about vocations?
Marlene: I can only speak for the youth I work with at Holy Trinity and the Church of the Crucifixion. They know if they follow the Lord's plan, that's where they will find their greatest joy. We teach them to be OPEN to wherever the Lord is calling them. They seem to really "get it."
Matt: What is it about the vocations push that keeps you going?
Marlene: I really love the Catholic faith and know that it can't go on without priests, sisters and holy sacramental marriages. I love working with youth and know that vocations and youths have to come together in order for vocations to flourish. I also am encouraged by the priests and sisters who come out every year to support the event.
Matt: What’s next?
Marlene: Next is the Convent Tour for the young ladies on March 26th. Then V.I.P. (Vocations in Progress) day for the young men on April 18th. And, of course, planning for the next Adore-a-thon in Spring 2012. My prayer is that one day this would take off and become an archdiocesan event that all parishes would attend and take an active role in planning.
March 15, 2011 09:26
By Matt Palmer
I'm working on a story for the March 17 edition of The Catholic Review on Adore-a-thon, an event held at Church of the Crucifixion in Glen Burnie this past weekend. I also will have a video in the coming days on the event here at Matt Palmer's blog.
But, I wanted to share some of Father Bolger's thoughts here. He's associate pastor for that parish and two others in Glen Burnie. These were kids who willingly chose to participate in an all-night vocations activity on a Friday.
He looked around the room at the March 11 Adore-a-thon and said, "They don't carry the same sadness that you see in a lot of the faces of young people. They're not lost. They know who they are."
He said the young people in the room can be inspiration for others.
"I encourage them to, in their school or on their sports teams, to be that leaven, that salt, that light of the world. Witness by the way you live your life. I see these young people as courageous. They don't just keep it here because it's a message of hope, while at the same time a message of contradiction. They like being part of that. It's exciting."
Father Bolger added: "Our young people love the Mass. They're not trying to re-invent it. They're seeing we can have different types of music. Our life as Catholics is rooted in the Mass. I hope they find joy and a true peace in doing God's will. For some, that's priestly or religious life, for others it's marriage. I hope they remember our witness and we plant a seed that Christ causes to grow one day and to flourish into priestly and religious vocations."
March 14, 2011 11:29
By Matt Palmer