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
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.
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.