“Making Lemonade with the Lemons You Have” – 3/12/16
For the first time since 2001 Abbey Youth Fest was cancelled due to severe weather and flooding in Covington. Abbey Fest is the largest event in the Archdiocese of New Orleans drawing over 4,000 participants annually from all over the south. On Wednesday many of our students at SHAW were disappointed after cancelling our trip in anticipation of the weather. Wanting to provide a meaningful quality experience for the youth of the West Bank who were going to attended Abbey fest, Fr. Michael Eguino, SDB in the span of three days collaborated with, organized a team of youth and adults, and developed a program called “Westbank Youth Day”.
The focus of the day was on faith, fellowship, and fun. Approximately 70 teens attended from 2 schools and 4 parishes. Youth participated in Icebreakers, a Keynote address was given by Fr. Daniel Green of Visitation Parish on “Living Your Faith In the Real World”. Games were played, Youth attended Eucharistic Adoration with an opportunity for Reconciliation, breakout sessions were presented by Bro. John Langan, SDB on “Listening to God’s Voice”, Bro. Lenny Carlino, SDB “On Joy”, and Shaw senior and Teen Cross member Linh Nguyen on” Moving Forward with God as a Teen”, the day concluded with mass celebrated by Fr. Abraham Feliciano, the Salesian Provincial Councilor for Youth Ministry.
All gathered truly felt this experience was a movement of the Spirit especially given the preparation and success of the event. The parishes and schools which supported and participated in this event were Academy of Our Lady High School, Archbishop Shaw High School, St. Bonaventure’s Parish, St. Rosalie Parish, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, and Our Lady of the Visitation Parish.
The hope of those gathered was that this experience could be developed and expanded into a yearly gathering for all Catholic Youth on the Westbank. Again special thanks to members of Archbishop Shaw, Visitation Parish, and members of Teen Cross who helped make the day so memorable.