Our Lady of the Hills youth group feeds its members spiritually

Our Lady of the Hills Church, Columbia, Catholic youth group

Our Lady of the Hills Church, Columbia, Catholic youth groupCOLUMBIA—A group of teens enjoyed Belgian waffles and Scripture verses at breakfast on a recent morning at Our Lady of the Hills Church.

The parish youth group has been meeting monthly since October for a special breakfast that combines a hearty meal with fellowship and faith formation. Elizabeth Hudacko, youth leader, said the idea came up because some of the students in Lexington District 5 schools go in an hour later than usual each Wednesday. Teachers use that time for planning, and many of the youth meet to eat breakfast with friends at a local restaurant.

“At our Tuesday night Bible study, they’d all talk about wanting to go out together, but that can be expensive for young people,” Hudacko said. “We decided to do a breakfast for them, because it’s not an expensive meal to make and we thought it would be a good way for them to get together. It’s a very easy thing to do and financially it takes care of itself.”

Adult youth leaders buy the food, prepare the meals and oversee the event. Each student is asked to bring $1 and a canned good to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Some parents have also donated money to fund the breakfasts, which will be held through the school year.

Ashley Bender, one of the youth leaders, presents a Scripture reading for thought and discussion. At the Dec. 16 breakfast, she asked a student to read a passage from the book of Revelation, 3:14-22. The passage reveals how Christians who don’t take their faith seriously will miss out on Christ’s gift of salvation.

“As Christians we’re called not to be stagnant in our faith,” Bender told the crowd of about 14. “Your faith has no impact on others if you are lukewarm about it. In these verses, the people are told they are ‘poor, blind and naked’ because they refuse to rely on God. They had pushed God out of their lives.”

Bender encouraged the group to make their faith the centerpiece of their lives. “Take a little inventory in the morning and ask yourself ‘is my faith making an impact? Do people know I’m a Christian through my actions?’” she said. “Ask yourself if people enjoy being around you. We’re called for our faith to have an impact on everyone we meet during the day.”

Will Dowd, 15, a student at Irmo High School, said the meal fed his body and spirit.

“It’s a nice way to begin my day,” he said. “I like how when we read from the Bible and then talk about it, it gives me something to think about for the rest of my day.”

Laragh Henderson, 15, also at Irmo High, has attended all three breakfasts.

“It’s like a spiritual feeding,” she said. “It’s great that we get to share God’s word together. The breakfast really brightens my day. It makes me know there are people who back me up and support me, and makes me feel better in general.”