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January, 1998 Page 2


Visit the St. Michael Internet Prayer Group for Police Officers at http://members.iglou.com/csavchik/michael.htm

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Catholic Home Study Service... sponsored by the Vincentian Community and the Missouri Knights of Columbus, offers free correspondence courses on the Catholic Faith - visit http://www.amm.org/chss.htm

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Get all the answers to your questions on the Faith at the Catholic Answers Home Page - http://www.catholic.com/cgi-shl/index.pl

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Youth G.I.F.T (Growing in Faith Together) Box

This Month's Challenge Being your Brother's(or Sister's) Keeper

After Cain murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where Abel was. Cain asked, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). Cain didn't want to feel responsible for his brother because he had only been looking out for himself. God wants us to look out for each other.

What is our responsibility to our brothers or sisters? When Jesus was here on earth, many of His parables focussed on how we treat one another. With all of these examples it should be clear that we are responsible not only for our own salvation and well being, but also for the other members of our community. Jesus even told the disciples that it was a grave sin to lead someone else into sin.

So how do we go about being good neighbors? The Church has given us some guidelines for this:

the Corporal Works of Mercy:

1) feed the hungry
2) give drink to the thirsty
3) clothe the naked
4) shelter the homeless
5) visit the Imprisoned
6) care for the sick
7) bury the dead
and the Spiritual Works of Mercy:

1) admonish the sinner,
2) instruct the ignorant
3) counsel the doubtful ,
4) comfort the sorrowful,
5) bear wrongs patiently,
6) forgive all injuries,
7) pray for the living and the dead

How do we put these works of mercy into practice in our lives? Who exactly is our neighbor? Does this mean we should all be working with the homeless and hungry in out towns? I'm too young, how can I do these things? These are all valid questions. You don't have to go looking for people to care for, God will send people to you. Keep your eyes open.

It may be the person on your bus who is being bullied every day, and you sit by and let it happen. It could be a close friend who has to make a major moral decision, and is asking for your help. It could be someone who is in trouble and needs you to help them figure out how to tell their parents.

Perhaps tomorrow you could pack an extra sandwich, and offer to share it with the boy who never brings any lunch. Invite your friend whose parents are getting a divorce to spend time with your family. When someone asks what you think they should do, and there is a morally right choice, be firm in leading them to do the right thing. In short, be a friend every day in every way that God presents you the opportunity to serve Him.

by Maggie Geene

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Saint of the Month: ST. JOHN BOSCO by Joseph Roalef

St. John Bosco is the patron saint of young people. He spent his entire life trying to help young people get to heaven. His motto was "Give me souls, take away the rest". He knew that God made us to know Him, love Him, and serve Him, to get to heaven. If we don't do these things then we are defeating God's purpose for us. Heaven is our true home and Jesus has prepared a special place for each of us! What a good and loving Father God is! John Bosco loved God the Father very much because his own father died when he was only 2.

When he was 9 years old, he had his first of many visions from heaven. John understood that to do good for so many young people he needed to study and become a priest. But his brother Anthony, who wanted John to become a farmer instead, threw John's religion books away and belted him! It got to be so bad that John's mother had to send him away from home so he could study without interference. While he was in school, John started what he called "The Happy Club", because he wanted to teach others to be happy living their Catholic faith.

John was ordained a priest when he was 26 and was then called Don Bosco ("Don" means "Father" in Italian.) Now Don Bosco was finally able to dedicate himself full time to the boys he had seen in his dream twenty years earlier. He went to look for them in the streets of Turin, Italy. He was shocked at what he saw! Many teenagers were committing serious crimes and, when caught, were put in jail or sometimes even executed!

Don Bosco started a group of Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and lay people to help him in his work for young people. They are now called the Salesians of Don Bosco, the name Salesian being derived from St. Francis De Sales.

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