The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date: August 1, 2003
Youth make voices heard in support of staff
In the groundswell of protest against the firing of four women on the staff of Holy Spirit Parish, the youth of the parish have played a visible role.
First theres the shock, then theres the anger, then theres how do you fix it, said Adam Moya, 16.
Moya, president of the high school youth group, organized in a week -- kind of crazy, but doable, he said -- a 12-mile march from Holy Spirit Parish to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle National Shrine in San Juan. He and the youth group pulled it off, with about 50 young people joining the July 5 walk to show support for the workers.
The crisis hasnt affected my faith in God at all, Moya said. If anything its made it stronger because Ive seen the community come together. And they say the church is the people, so my view of the church is great. My view of the people running the church has been greatly altered in a negative way.
You have to realize there are many great priests and bishops out there, added middle school youth group member Andrea Mosher, 13. We just have one that doesnt want to take responsibility for his actions and doesnt want to tell the truth.
Caroline Hallman, a 19-year-old Holy Spirit parishioner, said, It doesnt stop after this. If this gets resolved, then its our job to keep this diocese in check. Because things have been screwing up all over the country, and not anymore with just sex abuse scandals. Everything else is starting to surface. So theres a lot of work to do.
Theres so much going on that the Catholic church has to help out with -- I mean, theres poverty all over the world. But were spending our time trying to fix our own structure. Were wasting time trying to fix this situation. And its really angering. [The church] is supposed to be the outlet to help fix what else is going on.
-- Teresa Malcolm
National Catholic Reporter, August 1, 2003
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