"Students are there because they love God and neighbor, but they leave loving God and neighbor even more than when they arrived."
That's how religion teacher Tim O'Loughlin described the outcome of Courageous CJ events, which were developed last school year.
"Courageous CJ is a spinoff of Encounter Dayton," O'Loughlin explained. "The Archdiocese of Cincinnati hosts a citywide Eucharistic Adoration event for teens called Encounter. Encounter Cincinnati has been a successful youth event for several years, so the Archdiocese decided to bring Encounter to Dayton last year. Many CJ students attended the first Encounter Dayton last year and were so moved that they asked if we could do a similar event in the CJ chapel during non-Encounter months. That was the birth of Courageous CJ.
"Encounter includes social time before and after, and it includes a formal talk given before Eucharistic Adoration," O'Loughlin continued. "Courageous began with the same format as Encounter, but as it evolved over time, we distilled it down to put more of an emphasis on the Eucharist. We do a brief welcome and then we move right into praise, worship, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Like Encounter, we have live music leading us in praise and worship. This is such a powerful ingredient, as it helps some students to encounter the Lord more deeply.
"I'm not aware of other high schools hosting their own praise, worship and adoration event for their students. It creates a unique bond between the students who attend and it really takes the notion of CJ Community to the next level. Spending time with Jesus and fellow CJ students at the same time is pretty special."
O'Loughlin added that all CJ students are invited to attend Courageous CJ.
"Every CJ student is a child of God and that is our audience; no other qualification is needed. If you are a CJ student and looking to take the next step in your faith journey, please join us. St. Teresa of Calcutta said, 'Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth.'"
When reflecting on students asking for an event like this to be created for the CJ student body, O'Loughlin said, "I am impressed and inspired. Chaminade Julienne is an educational community of faith. Adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament not only strengthens the individual person, but it also strengthens our entire community. It's powerful. St. John Paul II said, 'The love of God and neighbor, the greatest commandment, is expressed in, and the fruit of, Eucharistic worship.' This is so true about our Courageous events."
The next Courageous CJ event will be held on Saturday, November 11 from 7-9 p.m. in the school chapel.
Posted November 7, 2017