Parish roundup: Prayers in Parkland; listening to youth; love transcends policy

This article appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.

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Parishioners of Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland, Florida, pray during an outdoor Stations of the Cross service Feb. 16 dedicated to the victims and survivors of the deadly mass shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (CNS)
Parishioners of Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland, Florida, pray during an outdoor Stations of the Cross service Feb. 16 dedicated to the victims and survivors of the deadly mass shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (CNS/Tom Tracy)

Shawn Burns, father of four and a General Motors engineering exec, shares thoughts and observations from a graveyard shift at a homeless shelter.

FEATURED SERIES:
Explore this NCR special report with recent articles on the topic of immigration and family separation.

Recitation of the rosary took place every two hours starting at noon and continuing into the evening at Mary Help of Christians Parish in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 15, the day after 17 students were killed at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Feb. 16, the parish dedicated its Stations of the Cross to the victims and survivors of the shooting. A funeral for one of the youths was held at the parish on Feb. 20.

Tapping the "innate abilities" of special needs clients of Marian Center School in Miami Gardens, Florida, board member Dan Brandt and his son, Charlie, employed the help of two Marian Center adult training students (Anthony and Eric) to assemble an antique billiards table. The table, in turn, now serves as a source of entertainment and education. The Sisters of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo oversee the facility, which currently serves more than 40 persons ages 6 to 22 and nearly 80 adults.

The all-voices-are-welcome emphasis of the March 19-24 gathering of more than 300 young people in Rome as a preparatory event for October's world Synod of Bishops focusing on youth was underscored again Feb. 16 by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod. Among participants will be young victims of human trafficking and persons of several religious traditions, including Native American Cree.

Three young adults will represent the U.S. at next month's meeting — a religious brother, a campus ministry director, and a youth minister who is a wife and new mother.

The pope has asked the world's bishops to respond to a questionnaire on how they minister to young people.

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Sadhana Singh and My Ford Noel (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)
Sadhana Singh and My Ford Noel (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

Love transcends U.S. immigration policy chaos. So says a young couple — the woman a "Dreamer" about to lose federal protection from deportation, and the man a native of Haiti whose temporary protective status ends next year. Sadhana Singh and My Ford Noel met last April via Facebook. They plan a future together, perhaps in Canada. Singh is last September's recipient of Trinity Washington University's St. Catherine Medal for leadership, activism and scholarship; she posted a 3.95 GPA. Before moving to Washington, D.C., to be with Singh, Noel taught at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A message in the Sunday bulletin of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Coquitlam, British Columbia, 11 years ago saved the life of Olaf Sztaba. Then a young father in his 30s near death with kidney failure, Sztaba received a donor kidney from fellow parishioner Madeleine Mulaire, an elementary school teacher and perfect stranger. Sztaba's wife, Kasia, had persuaded Fr. Craig Scott, still pastor, to include an appeal in the Sunday bulletin.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR's West Coast correspondent. His email is dmyoung@ncronline.org.]

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