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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Missions for Life 2002 : Speaking for those who never get the chance.
Coming from a variety of ages and backgrounds, this group of passionate missionaries united to defend the dignity of life out of their love for souls.

On, January 18-22, 2002, 34 young women from across North America came together for the 1st annual Youth for the Third Millennium (YTM) Missions for Life, in Washington, D.C. Coming from a variety of ages and backgrounds, this group of passionate missionaries united to defend the dignity of life out of their love for souls.

The girls arrived on the evening of Friday, January 18 to St. Catherine Laboure’s Parish in Wheaton, Maryland. After an evening of getting to know one another, the participants prepared for the evangelization missions. On Saturday, January 19, 2002, Vickie Franzese, a YTM coordinator, prepared the missionaries with a talk and door-to-door training. Then the girls were divided into groups of three and were sent out into the surrounding neighborhood, inviting the community to join the parish for special activities. The activities included a potluck dinner, holy hour and a concert performed by The Pierce Sisters, a singing trio of inspirational Christian music. The missionaries’ main objective was to raise awareness of the dignity of human life and of compassion for the unborn child.


The community welcomed the YTM Missionaries warmly. The girls encountered people of various religions who were quite surprised to see young Catholics knocking on their doors, especially in the cold weather-even snow. Nevertheless, the missionaries continued to visit people, including a family with a sick mother who was in need of a priest, and a family from Nigeria who, after being invited, attended all the activities, including their first holy hour, saying, “ We came because this is the first time anyone ever invited us to church.”

Conventions and speakers

In the evenings the girls participated in a variety of talks and activities. Fr. Morrow from St. Catherine Laboure parish gave a talk on chastity and courtship and gave the girls practical guidelines on dating and relationships. Maureen Kramlich, Esq. from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, spoke to the girls about the legal aspects of abortion and contraception and the current U.S. stance on life issues. This gave them the tools to promote life and defend it in their communities. During a panel discussion, former YTM coordinator Tanya Bubolz, Rachel Guettler (a teacher and YTM missionary) and Danny Flynn (a student and YTM missionary) shared with the participants how they are witnesses of Christ in their everyday lives.

Parish Activities

Every mass at St. Catherine Laboure’s parish gave the missionaries the opportunity to speak and share with the parishioners their experience of the missions. On the evening of Sunday, January 20, the girls attended a potluck dinner at the parish were they mingled with parishioners and some familiar faces from the mission. The dinner was followed by testimonies, a holy hour and concluded with a performance by The Pierce Sisters.

On Monday, January 21, the missionaries mission continued with door-to-door evangelization and ended with Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The climax of the mission took place on Tuesday, January 22, with a concert given by Tony Melendez, a youth Mass and finally the March for Life.

The youth that participated in the YTM missions learned that, although they took part to give themselves, they ended up leaving receiving much more. “ These missions have been life changing, you wouldn’t have recognized me seeing me before the missions. I am truly a changed person.” Amanda, YTM Missionary, Jacksonville, Florida.

If you are interested in participating in one of these missions, we invite you to send us an e-mail message so that we can put you in contact with the group that lives closest to you:

Or call Youth for the Third Millennium at: (301)-365-3205.



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