St. Augustine Catholic
Hope for Our Future
Something to Work For
Lessons from the Disabled
Kara's Courage
Twins Learn Early the Gift of Giving
in this issue... 
editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
in the know with Fr. Joe
work life
spiritual fitness
youth ministry profile
around the diocese
calendar of events

Hope For Our Future
Winner of the Inaugural Msgr. Joseph James Writing Scholarship Award
By Rachelle Andone

I hope for every person on earth to be touched by God. I hope for those who have their doubts, to finally see him, and recognize his powers. I believe that in order to work towards these hopes and dreams, we must spread his message to those who are not fortunate enough to already know him.

I hope that one day, the young people of this world recognize their responsibility of spreading his Word through not only words, but through action.

Last year I participated in Plunge, a youth volunteer program sponsored by St. Catherine Parish in Orange Park.

The group goes to St. Augustine for a week to help the elderly and people in need by making simple repairs and improvements to their homes. We worked from 9 o’clock in the morning to 4 o’clock in the afternoon. We slept at a nearby school and ate our meals at the local soup kitchen.

The teens in our group made sure the needs of our clients were met, and that they were happy with our work.

We began to see our clients as friends. We exchanged stories throughout the day getting to know one another.

The weeklong project is proof there are young people willing to share their God-given abilities with those less fortunate. The Plunge slogan is “Faith without action is dead” taken from James 2:17, 20. This is a powerful verse from the Bible - one that I try to live by each day. Through the actions and deeds of our Plunge group, I hope people recognize Jesus working within each of us and his word will spread like wildfire. I hope our actions will inspire others to want to grow in their faith and get to know our Lord more intimately.

It is through projects like Plunge that you realize Jesus is within each of us - young, old, able or fragile. It is through our action, kindness, love and thankfulness that we see God. These are the qualities in which I hope eventually fill the people of this world.

I believe as long as there are good people in this world willing to sacrifice their time and efforts for others and who put others before themselves, God will prevail. I hope that, like the teens of Plunge, we all find time to become closer to him. It is through our work for him that we receive his blessings.

By spreading the word of God, I believe there will be less hatred filling the world. With the message of God being so clear, a true love for every one of us should be found and exercised without prejudice. The world would then have no choice but to become a better place for future generations. As long as we use the word of God to motivate us to keep up our morale, and come together to create a better place for ourselves, there is still hope for the world to be engulfed in his message.
Hope for the future is all I ask. Hope that we realize how great God can be, and how he can help us overcome our obstacles. It is because of his undying love that he forgives our mistakes and faults. I hope that our actions show our beliefs, and spark curiosity of why we love him so much — so others will want to know him too.

I hope that eventually, every person in this world embraces the love of God, forcing all doubt and hatred to be smothered completely out of our lives. I hope we work hard and never falter because without action, our faith will die. If we remain hopeful, I believe this world has no choice but to become a better place for everyone.

Rachelle Andone is a 2006 graduate of Ridgeview High School in Orange Park and a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Green Cove Springs. She is now attending the University of Florida in Gainesville and plans to major in graphic and commercial art design.