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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Angel for a Day in Houston
Angels turn 10 frames into 200 smiles

Houston Angel for a Day

This article was reprinted with permission from the Texas Catholic Herald, a publication of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston in Texas.

by Sean O’Driscoll
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 Houston.

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.

"We 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."

Angel for a Day gives the volunteers the chance to grow
bowler at Angel for a Day in Houston
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 light up."

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.

"It´s 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.

Angel 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
Volunteer with a bowler at Angel for a Day in Houston
held in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

All photos taken by Sean O’Driscoll of the Texas Catholic Herald



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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