For me the vacation with the high school kids was necessary to discover that the experience of “Gioventù Studentesca” is alive.

How many times I have asked myself whether it will ever be possible for my kids to have the same experience that I had when I was their age! The Lord surprised me by responding in a way that I could have never imagined. One of the examples that moved me this year is that of Luke: a fictional name I will use. I have known him for at least five years, ever since he began coming to our Venturers of the Stars group. He continued to come after his third year of middle school, switching from Venturers to GS. The change of groups was anything but easy for him. At Venturers there is a lot of playing and a lot of chitchat. In GS, however, along with the change of faces, you read the book for school of community and you discuss serious stuff. Gradually, Luke started to feel disappointed, unsatisfied. For the entire first year he remained faithful, but his heart was no longer present.

At the beginning of the second year, the excuses started: once he had to study, another time help out at home, etc.. Then, when soccer season began, Luke simply dedicated himself to soccer. For many months we didn’t hear anything from him. I continued to see him at Mass and at other parish events. He was a bit uncomfortable, embarrassed because he had decided not to come anymore on his own and hadn’t told me anything. When soccer season had finished, in the beginning of December, he had no more excuses and so he decided to come back to our meetings. He immediately noticed something new: not only did he decide to come to the Winter vacation, but he even launched himself into the group of GS kids who were working on preparing it. The day before leaving, as he would say later during the final assembly, he couldn’t fall asleep, he was worried that he would be disappointed again. On the contrary, despite the small number of kids, the vacation was beautiful. The desire, expressed and shared by all, to learn how to grow in their friendship and to live something beautiful together was fully satisfied. About a week after the vacation, I was in my office when Luke entered and put an envelope in my hand. What a surprise I had when I opened it: two hundred dollars. “what’s this?” I asked. “Fr. Accu, do you remember last year when you proposed the common fund? You told us that for you the common fund was a concrete way to affirm what you wanted to belong to. During this Winter vacation, I rediscovered the beauty that I had experienced during Venturers. I understood that even here It is possible, despite the different faces and the different modality to live the same experience. And if this is possible, it is here that I want to stay. So, here is the common fund for all the months I didn’t pay”.
The thought that came to mind was very clear: GS really is present here In Colorado. I had proposed the common fund, but it wasn’t taken very seriously, so much so that the following year I had pretended as if it had never been proposed, thinking that they weren’t ready. Suddenly I found myself in front of a fifteen year old who was telling me that all my assessments and plans were inadequate: in reality, what was missing was a witness, not their heart. Needless to say, Luke became the responsible of the common fund. It is moving to see how this gesture is becoming something concrete and desired amongst all of them.
Oh, how happy I am to have been mistaken.

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