Certainly not youth group the way I remember it growing up. We dealt with nuns and blackboards and rulers. Seriously. Mass and church were no nonsense things. Fire and brimstone were the topics of conversation, not entertainment for the evening. The boys circled the”Youth Mass” on the calendar and off we trooped, even bringing along one of their friends. We  met up with more of their friends and attended a youth mass complete with a Christian rock band from New Hampshire. Then went off to the cafeteria for snacks (apples were the theme- raw, sliced with dip, cookies, crisp and some delicious homemade caramel corn with apple cider for all) and discussion regarding the Eucharist by a relatively new and young priest, Fr. Tim (who also said the mass). Then for what was billed the highlight of the evening, a finale to top all finales, at least at any mass I’ve ever been to – fire juggling. Seriously, this priest had the kids (and adults) running outside after him when he announced it was time for the fire juggling. People driving down the streets in the vicinity of MSJ must have wondered “what the hell” was going on with flaming batons being twirled in the air. There were jokes that next month’s highlight will be chainsaw juggling. I have to admit, it was pretty darn genius – everyone was talking about and seemed to have a good time. Fire and brimstone just ain’t what they used to be…..

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