Program Offers ‘Hands of Christ’ To Others

By Tim Bishop

HUTTONSVILLE—“Christ has no hands but yours”—these words by St. Teresa of Avila are the inspiration behind Manus Christi, a service and mission program being offered through the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Program officials said that Manus Christi is an active reflection of St. Teresa’s words, mixing vibrant prayer, engaging catechesis and formation and significant service with and to those in need. The weeklong service and mission experience gives participants the opportunity to encounter Christ in those in need while learning about and living the concepts of personal dignity, the common good, solidarity, and subsidiary.

During their stay, groups spend time in prayer and fellowship while completing service projects for those in need in the area.

Shawn Madden, director of the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center and director of the program, said work groups come from all over the country to take part in the program. “We have had,” Madden said, “groups from as far away as Minnesota to be the hands of Christ in central West Virginia, to spend time in community, to grow deeper in love with Jesus and to have an amazing experience of what it means to be a member of the Catholic body of Christ.”

During their stay, groups spend time in prayer and fellowship while completing service projects for those in need in the area. The groups also attend Mass and celebrate the sacrament of penance.

Groups are housed at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral. They are also encouraged to take advantage of all the fun things the adjacent Camp Bosco has to offer such as games, swimming, the zip-line course, campfires and the rock-climbing wall.

“Teens and chaperones alike,” Madden said, “will walk away full of gratitude for the opportunity to encounter Christ in a new way, while undoubtedly also having provided a lasting impact in the lives of those whose needs were met during the week, as we all experience what’s possible when we reach out for the hands of Christ together.”

The program runs from June 7-26. For information on how to register, visit www.manuschristi.com or call the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at (304) 233-0880 ext. 311.

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