St. John Bosco Work Day – Live Feed

Hello co-workers,

Welcome to the home of Madison Catholic Youth online! Feel free to take some time to look around. This page will formally introduced during Work Day, which will be covered live through the link on this page (below), from 8:45am – 3:15pm. You are more than welcome to read along, ask questions, share your thoughts and more. This feed will also remain on the page, in case you’re not available to join in as it is happening.

I hope you are able to stop (virtually) by on the 31st, or even better come in person (if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, please e-mail). Be in touch if you have any questions.


St. John Bosco Work Day

TOP 5 – 2009

Hello LBH Family,

As this New Year Begins, we are taking a look back on all of the joys and successes of the past three summers, all building to releasing the registration materials for LBH2012.

With that, please enjoy looking back on the TOP 5 Photographs of 2009, as well as some of those that didn’t quite make it but came mighty close.

#5 2009: James was the ultimate story teller, earning his car group the BIG WIN during LBH’s inaugural week!
‎#4 2009: The first LBH Core Team was classic. This half of the team (Jeff and Gina) were good for all kinds of laughter, inspiration and hard work, as it is depicted here. This team was a beautiful beginning to what has become a great line of holy, hilarious young adults willing to give up their time in service to the youth and the poor in the Madison Diocese.
‎#3 2009: First, let’s recognize another rockin’ member of 2009’s CT – Michael – on the far right. Gosh, he brought the team a ton of gifts. Now on to the real highlight of the picture – the Golden Grahams. Those who made the choice to eat some of this cereal were … surprised … to say the least by the extra protein discovered in their bowls at the end of breakfast. (Note: LBH was not responsible for this. General Mills was certainly to blame.)
‎#2 2009: There were a great number of highlights of the last week of LBH that first summer, including having (now) Fr. Greg Ihm and Fr. Dave Caranno with us. However, this week was all about relationship building, and this photo is in memory of one very special relationship that we fostered in the Mount Horeb community that week.
‎#1 2009: Love Begins Here cares a tremendous amount about developing relationships with the people we serve, and our first summer has some stand out examples of it. We warmly remember the good people we worked with at Durward’s Glen and the many people we befriended through the Mount Horeb Senior Center, including Dorothy and Jerry. However, what still stands as one of the most beautiful projects we ever embarked on was with a very special Madison family. This photo is from one of our last days of work at their home.
And a few more LBH 2009 Highlights:
This was the moment when I knew for sure that LBH was going to be truly great. The twenty-something teens we had playing in the backyard of our home for the week became fast friends, laughing and being so willing to share their lives with one another. Joy is certainly found on Love Begins Here.
Clare was our source of inspiration and a huge source of our joy during our first week of LBH as we helped out her family at their home. Only a few more years, and she will be able to join us on the Mission Field.
The beautiful girl on the right, Madi, was deeply changed from her first LBH trip. Learn more about Madi’s story next week in the TOP 5 – 2010 stories.
Helping Jerry out in his yard is the one project we have revisited every summer, from our connection at the Mount Horeb Senior Center. Hard work and a great love for those we are helping always come together at Jerry’s.
And with that, we can reflect once again on how blessed we have been throughout the years on LBH. Praise the Lord for the guidance and inspiration so far; may it continue for many years to come.
Watch for opportunities to serve the poor in your own homes today.


I had the extreme pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding this past weekend of two good friends from Camp Gray. While celebrating and praying with the lovely couple (the Chaptmans!), I spent much time reflecting on how blessed I have been to found a family within the Camp Gray community. There is an abundance of many things within it – support, friendship, and love. Those you may expect from any close group of co-workers, but what I think is more incredible is that this group of 40 who gathered are all abundantly and passionately living the Catholic faith. And, there are an abundance of them who are currently serving the Lord by working for the Church (or in school with plans to do so after finishing). This gang is quite inspiring. Check out the stats.

Members of the Camp Gray Family: 40
Inspiring/Holy People: 40
Former Campers: 11
Catholic School Teachers: 6
Youth Ministers: 5
Madison Seminarians: 2
College Campus Ministers: 1
Current Camp Staff: 11
Children 3 and Under: 3

And those stats are just a few – there are people using their gifts and talents to serve the Lord in the medical field, one who is an administrative assistant for Rachel’s Vineyard, another going to be a missionary for FOCUS after graduation, a lovely young woman who is looking for help to pay off her debt before joining a religious order and many others living out the call to holiness in their everyday lives.

These people inspire me. If you haven’t checked out the life changing work Camp Gray is up to lately, I think it is time. You will probably be inspired. (They have a Facebook and a twitter, if that helps you out.)

Called to grace, called to love.

The redemption of the world – this tremendous mystery of love in which creation is renewed – is, at its deepest root, the fullness of justice in a human heart – the heart of the first-born Son – in order that it may become justice in the hearts of many human beings, predestined from eternity in the first-born Son to be children of God and called to grace, called to love. The cross on Calvary, through which Jesus Christ – a Man, the Son of the Virgin Mary, thought to be the son of Joseph of Nazareth – “leaves” this world, is also a fresh manifestation of the eternal fatherhood of God, who in Him draws near again to humanity, to each human being, giving Him the thrice holy “Spirit of truth.”
– Blessed Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis

In this new year, as we prepare for the Year of Faith (which will begin on October 11, 2012), and as the Holy Father prepares for the Synod of Bishops on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”, I think it would be well worth our time as members of this beautiful Church to consider how we share the good news of  “the redemption of the world, this tremendous mystery of love.” In our waking, in our work and in all the joys and sufferings this new year brings, we will have a great plenty of opportunities to share the life-changing truth that we are called to grace, called to love.

Over break,  I spent some time with a few teens from the Parish I left early last summer. One of them shared with me that she had not been attending Mass regularly since I have left. It was something said in passing, but my heart stirred and I knew that she was letting me know of a deeper longing in her soul. She probably would not put it so bluntly, but she knows she is called to grace and love. In the depths of our souls, we all know that very same desire, given to us by our Creator. I reminded her of the beauty and grace found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as the time it was offered the next day at the Parish, and encouraged her, once again, to never let a weekend pass without attending Mass and receiving the grace offered.

The Sacraments provide for us a wellspring of grace, as the Holy Father wrote in Redemptor Hominis, “Indeed, it is by the command of Christ himself, her Master, that the Church unceasingly celebrates the Eucharist, finding in it the ‘fountain of life and holiness’, the efficacious sign of grace and reconciliation with God, and the pledge of eternal life.” As the Christmas season draws to a close, let us remember these words, as they are the source of true joy and peace found in this season, given by our Infant lord, that will allow us to keep the true spirit of the season all year long.

The Christian message has a dynamite power, waiting to be used to change our world. (Sidebar: Fr. Robert Barron’s second lesson in the Catholicism Series has a great ending on this theme. Take some time to watch it. You won’t be disappointed.) Don’t let this year pass by without taking time to spend some time contemplating how you are going to blow up the dynamite of the Church.

(I would heartily recommend reading through Redemptor Hominis if you would like to be inspired to embrace this task. You can find it here if you want to print it out or read it online. Or, if want to purchase it in a small paperback, get it here.)