Participants act out the song “Lean on Me” being performed by keynote speaker Steve Angrisano. Photos by Paul Middlestaedt / For The Visitor

Participants act out the song “Lean on Me” being performed by keynote speaker Steve Angrisano. Photos by Paul Middlestaedt / For The Visitor

Benedictine sister, Cathedral High School youth honored for their witness, dedication

By Kristi Anderson
The Visitor

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Because of a power outage during the rally, Diocesan Youth Council members Ana Chisholm, 17, left, and Randi Petrich help entertain the crowd with Steve Angrisano under the glow of many cell phone flashlights. The two volunteers attend Immaculate Conception Parish in Osakis.

As musical artist Steve Angrisano took the stage to perform for about 500 students at the annual diocesan Senior High Youth Rally Oct. 25 at St. John’s University, an electrical transformer blew, leaving the crowd with only the glow of cellphone flashlights to dispel the darkness.

“By faith we made adjustments, smiled and pressed on,” Angrisano said on his Facebook page later that day. “For whatever ability to see was taken away today, God shined brighter.”

Power was restored and the day continued despite a few obstacles. The event, geared toward youth in grades 9-12, featured the theme “Lean on Me” and included a keynote address and large group workshop with Angrisano, opportunities for confession, a dance and Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler.

The Gospel reading of the day was the story of the blind man Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus, which brought new significance to the darkened auditorium.

“The day was filled with challenges, yet we all managed to ‘see’ differently than we did when the day began,” said Kent Schmitz, diocesan director of youth ministry. “It was a wonderful day with many examples of ‘leaning on each other’ to make the day a success.”

Companions on the Journey

Bishop Donald Kettler presents the Companions on the Journey Award to Benedictine Sister Alice Imdieke at the end of Mass.

Bishop Donald Kettler presents the Companions on the Journey Award to Benedictine Sister Alice Imdieke at the end of Mass.

Annually at this event, an adult and a youth are recognized for their exemplary leadership throughout the year.

This year, Benedictine Sister Alice Imdieke, director of faith formation at Seven Dolors Parish in Albany, received the Companions on the Journey Award, an honor given to someone who demonstrates excellence in youth ministry.

“Sister Alice is very dedicated to her family and the church. She is very active in her local parish, serving as a leader in areas of faith formation, youth ministry, liturgy and pastoral ministry,” Schmitz said. “She is respected by her peers in ministry and is a gifted mentor in ministry to all of us.”

“It is really a beautiful award,” Sister Alice said. “For me, it is the frosting on the cake for all the years of working in faith formation.”

She said it is especially important because she is receiving it during the Year for Consecrated Life proclaimed by Pope Francis.

“I don’t need an award. I’m at that age where I don’t need it for credibility. I’m almost ready to retire. But it did hit me that it was during this Year for Consecrated Life and it is a real nice witness to who I am,” she said.

One of the things Sister Alice implemented this year in her parish was a summer program for youth that met weekly May through August.

“It’s just a different approach to what we already do,” she said.

And that is a strategy she has used often in her work, including listening to the high school sports games on the local radio station.

“I listen and then I affirm those kids,” she said. “I’ve been doing that for 18 years. It is a wonderful part of youth ministry.”

She is grateful to the children who she says are like “sponges.”

“They are so open to things. They think things through. And I love being challenged with their questions,” she said.

Besides inspiration from the youth, she feels that support from the staff of Catholic Education Ministries has helped her grow in her faith. She has appreciated the encouragement of her peers and others who work in faith formation.

“I am also grateful to my Benedictine community life that has given me the opportunity for spiritual growth,” she said. “And receiving the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, has strengthened me.”

St. Timothy Award

Jacenta Kresky

Jacenta Kresky

Cathedral High School senior Jacenta Kresky was presented with the St. Timothy Award.

The honor is given to youth who demonstrate living as a disciple of Christ, set a positive example for others, witness their faith by exhibiting Catholic morals and integrity, demonstrate Gospel values through service to others and exhibit Christian leadership in parish, school and/or community settings.

For Kresky, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Sauk Rapids, being a leader means showing courage, bravery and using the gifts God has given her, especially her creativity and her problem-solving skills.

She serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, teaches Vacation Bible School and has served as a leader on mission trips and retreat opportunities such as Steubenville, National Catholic Youth Conference, Castaway, TEC, diocesan youth rallies and Feed My Starving Children. She also is a member of the Diocesan Youth Council and is the youth representative to the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Isaac Holthaus, 16, of St. Joseph participates in some of the fun activities before the rally.

Isaac Holthaus, 16, of St. Joseph participates in some of the fun activities before the rally.

“It’s really nice to get the award,” Kresky said. “When you do something for others, you really don’t expect something in return. It’s an affirming thing.”

Kresky said she has always enjoyed helping people — something, she said, she witnessed in her parents and part of the reason she recently joined the Army National Guard.
“It’s just another way I can serve people,” she said.

At school, she is involved in speech and swimming and is an officer for the art club. Kresky participates in community activities like We Day and We ACT — which encourage youth to make a difference locally and globally — and has donated her hair several times for cancer patients.

“I have always seen helping people as one of the things to do,” she said. “If you have a way to help someone, I think you should just do it.”