This article was reprinted with permission from the Texas Catholic
Herald, a publication of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston in Texas.
Texas Catholic Herald
More than 200 children ages five
to 10 from the Hispanic community at Prince of Peace
Catholic Church were treated to a morning of bowling and
a pizza lunch by more than 175 teen and young adult
volunteers. They gathered to share their faith as part of
the Angel for a Day Bowling Mission on Saturday, Jan.
25, at the AMF Willow Lanes Bowling Alley in Northwest
The event was sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ and
the Regnum Christi Movement.
"After returning from the World Youth Day
celebration in Brazil last year, the young adults were inspired
by the words of Pope Francis," said Father Eamonn Shelly,
LC. "His whole idea of mission - of getting out
to the streets with the people - really resonated with
the young adults and they came home asking what more
they could do for their community."
A core group of 12
young adults worked with Father Shelly to bring the Angel
for a Day program to Houston. They knew that it
would take a lot of volunteers to make it happen.
were hoping to get 100 high school volunteers to work
directly with the children as Angels," said Diana Argaez, the
coordinator of high school volunteers for the event. "We ended
up with over 130 teens showing up to help out."
for a Day gives the volunteers the chance to grow
in community awareness and develop universal human values, such leadership,
communication, initiative and respect for the others, as well as
benefiting the children.
"It´s all about helping the children," said Marissa
Christiansen, a student at Pope John XXIII High School in
Katy. "You watch them get a spare, and you give
them a high five, and you just see their faces
Teen volunteers came from all over the Archdiocese from
both parishes and Catholic high schools. "They are really nice
and fun, and they are very easy to talk to,"
said one 8-year-old participant. "I´ve never been bowling before, but
they just smile and help us and cheer for us
even if we don´t do very good."
The program has also
been effective in getting young adults back into their faith.
about contributing to the community," said Manny Quintero, a young
adult who described himself as Catholic but not practicing. "There
is a balance in life between taking care of yourself
and taking care of others. This is how we show
we can connect the Church to the community."
Argaez said many
of the adult volunteers were not active in their faith,
but have started going back to Mass and prayer groups
because of their involvement in planning this event.
"They all attended
the VIRTUS [Safe Environment Training] program so they could help
with this day. Hopefully this will be an annual event
and we can continue to grow the program," Argavez said.
for Day is a charitable program that has successfully spread
throughout several countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. The
program was founded in 1998 by a group of students
from Anahauc University in Mexico who wanted to reach out
to their local community and give a gift to those
who had nothing. In the United States, events have been
held in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
All photos taken by
Sean O’Driscoll of the Texas Catholic Herald