In the past two months, I have been blessed to witness the growth and development of young people in our community.
I must start with the confirmation of my daughter, Julia, during a beautiful Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral last month. I commend Bishop Matthew H. Clark for taking time that night to personally ask each candidate about his or her gifts and how he or she might share those with the world. That is the same message I had emphasized to Julia when she was first considering becoming part of the choir at Rochester’s Our Lady of the Americas two years ago. She took that message seriously then, and I hope will continue to do so as she moves on to high school. It was fitting that her choir director, Sister of St. Joseph Barbara Staropoli, was part of the choir’s glorious music during the confirmation Mass.
I also applaud the community at Church of the Assumption in Fairport. My godson was one of nearly 100 parishioners confirmed earlier this month. It is heartening to see so many young people active and willing to move on to the next step in their faith’s journey.
Finally, I had the privilege of working with a dedicated group of volunteers on a fundraiser for Borinquen Dance Theatre, which aims to instill important life skills in children and teenagers through dance. Those dancers — one of whom was my daughter — gave it their all and then some during performances that moved many in the audience to tears. Nydia Padilla-Rodríguez, founder and artistic director, had a lot to be proud of!
I hope that all of these children will carry on the affirmations and blessings and go on to accomplish great things in their lives and pay it forward to make the world a better place.