Friday, October 14, 2005

UpComing Appearances

Jamie Dillon "Music that Lifts You Up" Bookings:
October 20-22 Total Catholic Education Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
October 24 Confirmation Retreat Seton LaSalle High School (PGH)
October 27-29 National Catholic Youth Ministry Conference (Atlanta, GA)
November 2 Confirmation Retreat (Pittsburgh, PA)
November 4-7 Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston Catholic Youth Convention (Wheeling.WV)
Nov. 13 Youth Night (Pittsburgh, PA)
Nov. 20 "Getting to Know Jesus" (Butler, PA)
Dec. 1 Dept. of Religious Education Advent Day of Reflection (PGH, PA)
Dec. 7/8 "Unwind Your Mind: Ordinary Holiness Approach to Stress Management (Madison, WI)
Jan. 30 St. Gabriel Catholic Schools Week Assembly (PGH, PA)
Feb. 18 Confirmation Retreat St. Malachy (PGH)

World Youth Day Reflections

Reflections on World Youth Day 2005, Cologne, Germany
From Jamie Dillon: At St. Lambertus Shrine in Dusseldorf, Germany, the sisters of Charity were giving out small folded bits of colored paper. I walked by a few times before I gracious accepted this small token. Unfolding as I walked, I stopped in my tracks, it read: “Let us courageously continue on our way. Let us trust God fully and completely.” Those two lines, sum up my experiences around World Youth Day. Despite what one may suppose, WYD was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I felt truly honored to represent my parish, my church and my country. I had been invited to sing at WYD in Toronto, but had torn my rotator cuff and required surgery the same day that I was to perform. Now, I felt that surely some mistake had been made. Surely, God, you must want someone else. Many times throughout the summer, I had wanted to back out. I remember sitting in church the week before totally overcome with fear. Guess what the reading was that day? Peter walking on the water and Jesus saying “Oh Ye of little faith”. The song? Be not Afraid. I had never been to Europe. I was going alone. We could not afford for my husband to join me, nor did we want to have both of us be so very far away from them. I was not associated with a group. I was singing in Cologne and at two catechetical sessions. I was scheduled to work with people whom I greatly admired. “God are you sure, that I am the right person?”Oh ye of little faith. Some weeks before, my parish had taken up a collection to support my trip. I had spoken at all of the masses. I have been the youth minister there for a decade. I have been a musician there for 30 years. I started playing in grade school. (I have been at St. Scholastica my entire life). I thanked them for giving me the opportunity to sing with them for 30 years. I asked them for their prayers and asked them to pray for me. The response was over whelming. The parish collected enough money to pay for my entire trip and even have enough to take a few taxi’s (which I ended up doing when the trains did not show up). I stayed in Dusseldorf. Cologne was just too full. Of course I got lost on my first trip around the city. I called home later that day and my kids were crying, which of course made me cry. Exhausted, I prayed again: “God are you sure about this?” The next day I went into Cologne. I was scheduled to sing that afternoon. I was really taken back by the train system. I had never been in a train station, let alone one filled with hundreds of thousands of my closest friends! Yet everyone was happy.Chatter, singing, guitar and drumbeats filled the air. I couldn’t help but smile. I visited the Dom while I was there, and immediately cried. Not for sadness, but in awe of the beauty and spirituality that surrounded me. I visited eleven cathedrals in Germany that week. I cried in everyone. My performance in Cologne went really well. The church was full. My hosts were so sweet and kind (not to mention helpful). Everyone there was singing, dancing and joyfully, praising God. Their comments “This was wonderful! We don’t have anything like this in my church”. At the two catechetical sessions, I got to work with Cardinal Arinze and Arch Bishop Dolan: Two very different men, both with powerful messages. The music went well, despite problems with transportation (again) and the inadequacies of the sound system. We prevailed. Both sessions, the same reaction: “This is wonderful. The music has touched my heart. We don’t have anything like this!” I gave credit where credit was due. Although my trip to WYD was supposed to be one of giving, my giving my talents to the young people there, I know that I received so much more. I have come home with a new sense of peace, purpose and humility. I hug my family a little tighter, pray a little longer, and am thankful more often. Courageously I continue on my way. Trusting God fully and completely. Peace, Jamie Dillon