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top FaithfulSafari

Hamisi Juma's Faithful Safari

In Hamisi Juma’s native Swahili, safari means “journey.” So when it came time for Hamisi to name the youth center he founded to support refugee and immigrant children in Manchester – nearly 7,000 miles from his home in eastern Congo – the choice was clear.

He called it the Safari Youth Club.

“A more direct translation of safari is ‘to transition to one’s future self,’ ” Hamisi explains. “And that is the mission of the club: to instill strong values and personal discipline in our youth so that they can be the best version of themselves.”

The Safari Youth Club is a place where kids can study, learn and play. Most of the participants are children from African nations, including the Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and Sudan. The club provides them with a safe and supportive place to gather while their parents work and adjust to life in the United States.

For his work in fostering community, advocating for those without a voice, and transforming the lives of children and families by living out the central Gospel message to love one another, Bishop Peter A. Libasci honored Hamisi with the 2018 Vita et Caritas Award.

Want to read more about Hamisi and the Safari Youth Club? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE Kerper

Dear Father Kerper

Dear Father Kerper: Some of my Catholic friends tell me disturbing things about Pope Francis, other bishops, and the way the Church operates. They always cite Catholic blogs, news agencies, and publications. I never know what to believe. How can I know which of these sources are really Catholic?

Thanks so much for your great and timely question. Almost every day I speak with good people like yourself who become baffled and anxious as they read news stories and opinions from various Catholic sources. Let’s unpack the vast jungle of Catholic media by sorting them into three basic categories.

Church-sponsored Media

Media of Orders and Movements

Independently-owned Media

Want to learn more about unpacking Catholic media?  Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top BikeCoop

Gate City Bike Co-Op

By Katie Fiermonti

On any given Monday in downtown Nashua, you can find a dozen or more volunteer mechanics bent over ailing bicycles, fixing brakes, changing cables and replacing blown tires. They are the heart of the Gate City Bike Co-op, a hive of industry, oil and grease, toil and goodwill based in the former Sacred Heart School.

Once-empty classrooms now teem with hundreds of donated bikes, volunteers who repair them for free and place them in the hands of the city’s neediest residents. It’s all the result of the actions of two men who had the vision to promote human dignity and independence through pedal power.

“Look around,” bike co-op co-founder Donald Paré gestures outside where homeless shelters, a food pantry and boarding houses are a short walk away. “We are in the epicenter of need. Pope Francis tells us to go out to the people. We couldn’t have chosen a more providential situation.

“I recognize I’m part of something bigger, something joyful, something fun. I am deeply faithful. And everyone here has a story. They teach us what we’re supposed to do. It’s a religious experience,” adds Paré, a parishioner and altar server at St. Patrick Church next door, which owns the 19th century former school.

Like what you see? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE FisherTeaching Your Kids God is Not a Feeling

My kids are allergic to any program with the word "teen" in it. They've learned from painful experience that most teen programs rely on two elements: hipness and emotion. They cringe especially hard when the teen program in question is for faith formation.

Of course, we want faith formation to feel relevant, and teenagers do respond to emotional material. But there's such a thing as too much tailoring. If we sacrifice substance, making every religious experience painfully hip, emotionally fulfilling and not much else, it invariably backfires.

First, no adult on earth can keep up with what teenagers consider relevant or cool. When we adults become fully aware of a trend, it's already fading; and by the time we incorporate it into teaching materials, it's dead. So the "stay hip to engage the youth" approach is doomed from the start.

But what about making teen faith formation emotionally fulfilling? It does work ... for a while. Then it stops working; and then we're in real trouble.

Like what you see? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

Other Columns in the Current Issue

Bishop's Message - In Easter, We Find Our True Purpose, Worth, Freedom
Catholic Quiz
Marriage and Family Life - Teaching Your Kinds God is Not a Feeling
Dear Father Kerper - Unpacking Catholic Media: How Do I Know What's True?
Keeping Faith with Teens - Act Justly, Live Mercifully|
On Call With Dr. Pepe - Preserving Spaces for Life
Your Faith: Discipleship 101 - Spiritual Seeking
Catholic Charities Report - Catholic Charities Expands Services to Elders, Disabled
Feature - Gate City Bike Co-Op: A Hub of Hope and Dignity
Cover Story - Hamisi Juma's Faithful Safari
Catholic Life - How Can I Follow Christ in These Dark Times?
School Profile - St. Thomas Aquinas  School, Derry
Feature - Many Gardens: Creating Spaces of Peace
Have You Ever Thought of Being a Priest? - Meet Father Marc Drouin
Local News
Calendar of Events
7 Days a Pastor: Reflections from Father Andrew Nelson - Fatherly Love
Mission Moment - St. Joseph Hospital's Mobile Health Clinic Improves Community Outreach and Greater Nashua's Access to Care