Today was my third time being at the volunteer Mass on Friday before the Steubenville conference begins, and it’s one of my favorite Masses to attend all year. The anticipation is real. The hype is real. Steuby is finally here!
Over 100 volunteers gathered at Missouri State University’s Catholic Student Center to celebrate Mass before the conference. These men and women willingly gave up their entire weekend to serve at this conference. At the beginning of his homily, Bishop Edward Rice of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese thanked the volunteers for their commitment.
He then pointed out that the chapel in which we were celebrating Mass was dedicated to the 51 Claretian Martyrs who were executed in 1936 for being Catholic in Spain. And he reminded us that they are not the only example of mass persecution of Catholics; many others have died for the faith.
As bleak as this message may sound, Bishop Rice encouraged the volunteers with this message from Jesus:
“Do not worry about what to say or what to do, the Spirit of the Father will speak through you.”
He then stated that “As Catholics, we are called to be faithful and to do what we as Catholics have always done: to be faithful and trust in God to provide.”
This trust Bishop Rice speaks of extends to this weekend, of course. We as Catholics are always called to trust in what God has in store for us. Especially when we are scared, anxious, or afraid, we must trust in God in order to provide for us. And He will give us everything we need. Nothing more, nothing less.
Wherever we are at coming to this conference this weekend, let us recognize the times in our life where we are lacking faith or trust in God. Steubenville conferences are the perfect place to ask for trust in God – and for the courage to be faithful to what He is calling us to do.