The Bible says, “Ask, and it shall be given you,” and St. Helen’s in Howard Beach is doing just that.
On Sunday, June 27, the church will have a teen mass at 8 p.m. for area youth to be a part of the celebration and become closer to God.
Not only will the mass, which kicks off the summer schedule, have music geared toward their generation, but the kids are also invited to participate as ushers, greeters, liturgical reader, alter servers and more.
Andrea Mercatante of the St. Helen’s Youth Ministry spoke with a focus group of 16 teens, who said “they wanted later masses.”
They also discussed why they may not attend mass, she said, and Mercatante emphasized the importance of going.
She also decided to add a social element by giving the kids the opportunity to have an open conversation with Monsignor Al LoPinto about the mass, the gospel, the homily, and about their lives as members of St. Helen’s.
“We’re giving them the piece they’re missing by inviting them back to Father Dooley Hall, [so they can] have a soda, and talk casually with Monsignor,” she said. “He is very open, he wants to bring everything to the kids.”
“Much of the values of a person’s life grow out of their spirituality,” said LoPinto. “[The kids] indicated feeling ‘lost’ at mass, they weren’t feeling like they were getting much out of the experience.”
He continued, “This is an attempt to try to help them, this is what they’ve asked for.”
A few years ago the church had a teen mass, but, said Mercatante, “the homily really wasn’t geared toward the teens.”
This time, it’s a “more focused attempt” to “get them engaged in the celebration.”
There will be reserved seating and refreshments. Email email@example.com to sign up to participate.
Also, from June 16 through 20, St. Helen’s will host its St. Anthony Feast. On the
16th there will be a St. Anthony mass at 6 p.m., and afterward, an outdoor shrine will be put up.