We’re only a few weeks away from our departure date (July 21 at 9:00am) for this year’s ASP trip. We wanted to say thank you again for all of your support thus far. It helps defray the costs of the trip, but more importantly it lets us all know that the people of Ascension believe in what we are doing.
Some have asked where are we going and what we will be doing. While we won’t know specifically what type of work we are doing until we get down to our work sites, we can report that we are going to ASP’s Centers in Guyan Valley, WV and Magoffin County in KY.
Guyan Valley is in Brenton, WV and it is one of ASP’s permanent centers (they have 3). This means the 77 people going here will have real beds and a guarantee of indoor showers (not all locations are so lucky). Some statistics about the county: Population is about 22,000, major employers are coal companies, Wyoming County Board of Education, other community/county resources and retail. Per capita annual average income is $19,000 and 22% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The 91 people going to Magoffin County will be staying at a middle school in Salyersville, KY. They will have indoor showers and air conditioning, but they will be sleeping on air mattresses in a gym. Some statistics about the county: Population is about 13,000, major employers are Magoffin County Board of Education, Joy Mining-Continental Conveyor, Salyersville Health Care Center. Per capita annual average income is $15,838 and 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.
You can go to www.asphome.org to learn more about all of their centers and their organization. You can also follow each of the Counties on Facebook and see updates of the projects and families. Guyan Valley is: Appalachia Service Project: Guyan Valley, West Virginia Center. Magoffin is Appalachia Service Project: Magoffin County, Kentucky Center.
Thanks again for your support and prayers.
ASP participants are leaving for Appalachia on July 21 and returning on July 28. If you are interested in being part of a prayer group that will say a decade of the rosary each day of the service trip, please contact Matt to be included in this group. Matt will contact you if you participated in previous years to see if you are still interested in praying for the ASP participants.
We are looking for volunteers to welcome the ASP participants back and help them with unloading and cleaning out the vans. We especially invite Confirmation Candidates, incoming freshmen and their families. This is considered a service hour opportunity for Confirmation Candidates. Email Matt for information and to RSVP.
Life is so busy. We’re pulled in many different directions, yet we want our actions to matter. Join us for any of 5 events taking place throughout the Chicago area designed to make a difference in the lives of children. Or gather and drop off supplies for one of our collections: school supplies for children in Chicago’s near west side neighborhood or books for underserved children in the larger Chicago area. By giving a couple hours of your time you CAN make a difference in the life of a child. Click the link about for more details or contact us at email@example.com, or @chicagojusticedays on Facebook or Instagram
There are several opportunities for faith growth over the summer for youth (high school and younger) in the form of retreats and camps. See below for a list. For example, Totus Tuus is a great opportunity for youth (1st grade through senior in high school) to engage in their faith in a fun way the last full week of July (July 22-27). This is a Faith Booster for Confirmation Candidates. Find more about this at http://www.stlukeparish.org/. There are limited spaces available; registration is first come, first serve. Please contact Matt Goto with questions.
Go here for a more complete calendar of events
One Bread, One Cup
Brief Description: At the conferences, youth and adults discover the Church's treasures of Word, Sacrament and Mission and enjoy opportunities for fellowship and fun through team building, outdoor recreation, a variety show and a dance. Participants come to appreciate the Benedictine balance of prayer, work and recreation.
Age: High School
Cost: ~$550 plus transportation
Dates: 4 conferences - June 11-15 (M-F), June 21-25 (Th-M), July 6-10 (F-Tu), July 16-20 (M-F)
Location: Conference 1-3: St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana (Southern Indiana), Conference 4: Conception Abbey, MO
More information: http://www.saintmeinrad.edu/youth/summer-conferences/ or contact Matt Goto.
Brief Description: A local summer Bible Study camp for grade schoolers (1st-6th grade) during the day and an exciting youth group experience for 7th-12th graders in the evening. This is a faith booster for Confirmation Candidates.
Age: 1st-12th grade
Cost: $60 per child / $40 for each additional child from the same immediate family
Dates: July 22-27 (Su-F)
For children entering Grades 1-6 this fall: 9:00 am to 2:30 pm Monday-Friday
For junior high/high school students: 7:00 to 9:00 pm Sunday-Thursday
Location: St. Luke Catholic Church River Forest, IL
Additional Notes: The grade school portion fills up fast. So if you are interested, please sign up promptly.
Ascension Youth Ministry consists of teens and adult volunteers and provides opportunities for service, faith formation and social activities. Its signature events – among many – are the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and Youth Group meetings where we learn to bring our faith into our lives.
Ascension Youth Ministry’s (AYM) mission statement is: “a voyage of hope (from Confirmation forward) to anchor teens into a life-giving Eucharistic faith.” Why?
How is all this done? Through events offered monthly (or more!); Leadership opportunities (Peer ministry and ASP teen leaders); Retreats and lock-in’s; Social events; Service events & Mission trips; & prayer opportunities.
For more information, please contact our Youth Ministry Coordinator, Matt Goto.
On Saturday, April 21 the Austin community of St. Angela School welcomed an amazing crew of Ascension adults and teens to help build a beautiful green space where once stood only abandoned buildings. Thanks to the ASP leadership efforts of George Lyons and Paul Kraft, and a deeply embedded call to service that is the hallmark of Ascension Parish, this team helped us make great strides toward the transformation of our campus.
We prepared three large garden areas for planting; we built a retaining wall to prevent erosion; we moved four cubic yards of compost and twelve tons of cobblestone and probably another two of pebbles and sand; we constructed six Gabion benches and one thirty feet long Gabion wall. We moved slabs of marble, slabs of flagstone and kept nine wheelbarrows in constant motion.
It was wonderful for me personally to work with old friends—and the children they have raised to help others. I am proud to be part of a parish that rolls up its sleeves, and now to know that my connection to that parish was the impetus for their presence in a community that needs them so much.
On behalf of all of us at St. Angela – faculty, staff, boys and girls – thank you. We are profoundly grateful for your friendship.