Friday, April 2, 2010

Set Free 2010

Thank you everyone for your commitment to prayer for the Set Free Youth Conference. It went so well. I have to apologize for my delay in getting this updated, but since the conference I have come back to the States and everything has gone rather quickly.

Set Free was so blessed. There were nearly 200 youth that attended the conference. The band, emmanuelworship, from Aussie were fabulous (you should really check them out!)! And the team and the speakers from all over the world were amazing :) Thank you to all of you that made Set Free possible. The ideal right now is that Set Free will be an annual event for the Hamilton Diocese in New Zealand. Please continue to pray for this mission. Set Free truly changed lives, mine included, and called on everyone that attended to live their lives set free in Christ Jesus.

One of the speakers made an amazing video of the weekend so I have attached the link below.

I do not know how to thank all of you enough for your prayer, love, and support. This weekend would not have been possible without you. Know that your reward will be great in Heaven :)

Also, thank you to everyone that prayed for me. This was the most challenging and rewarding six months of my life and I am a better person for it. Thank you for helping me take the leap of faith it took to go. I was so blessed. The Lord will never be outdone in generosity :) Please continue to pray for me as I discern the next step in my life. I know that it will be an amazing adventure wherever He leads me.

Love in Christ,

"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand fast, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Gal 5:1

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand Fast therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Greetings Family and Friends :)

The Catholic Youth Conference: Set Free is taking place in 9 short days! Can you believe that

it is here so soon?!? I can't. So much work and preparation has already and will go into this conference with the hope that some young people get a chance to know Christ on a deeper level. Please pray for the team, that we don't lose our minds in the next week and a half! Please pray for the speakers travelling here from the Australia, but especially the States, that the Lord gives them warm weather and blue skies to fly in ( we don't like snow!). Please also pray for the teens, pray that the Lord gives them an open heart and a grace to accept Him into their lives!

All that is left to do is pray. The next blog will be to tell you how it went :)

For now I have included a photo of our high school youth group (Lighthouse) team from last term and what they are doing now, so that you have a photo of people to pray for :) We all need it!

Top row is Glen (Who is now doing NET in Aussie), Stella ( Who just entered the Catholic Discipleship College in Auckland), me ( Set Free Conference Team), James (Who is also doing NET in Aussie), Fr Michael, Daniel (The "Set Free"team), Justin (Lighthouse Helper) Bottom Row: Anthony and Amie Lee (Helpers who just got married!), and Danielle and Kerstin (Set Free Conference Team)!

God bless you all! Know of my love and be assured of my prayers!

In Christ,


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice." Phil 4:4

Dear Loved Ones,

Gosh I miss all of you! I love New Zealand, but I miss the States :) I pray that all of your holidays were blessed with peace, family, and fun!

My holidays here were wonderful. Kerstin (one of the two original missionaries) had her family over for Christmas, so we got to have a mom, a dad, and a brother for the holiday season. It was wonderful :) Then after Christmas, while all the schools were closed and youth ministry was on a holiday break, we travelled to the South Island of New Zealand. The country is beautiful down south, and weather its the beaches and wildlife on the east coast or the mountains on the west coast, it made me appreciate God's creation even more. He truly is a GREAT God! I've included a photo of our group, which was the five of us (Kerstin, Danielle, Alexander, Daniel and myself). I have also included a photo of the youth group from around Christmas time.

Things here are hectic, but blessed. After our missionary holiday to the South Island over things got quickly back to business! We have been finalizing details with speakers, participants, schools, priests, chaperones, and buses! There are so many details! The website is finished and wonderful (thank you, Josh!) and you should all check it out at ! This week and next we are traveling to schools, and some churches around the diocese, again to speak about the conference. The lists of things to do never seem to shorten, but its all good work and the love of Jesus keeps us going!

We also took a group to a "full on" 10 day retreat for young adults...all of the practicing young adults from the country go, there were about 190 of them there. 17 were from St. Thomas More! It was a truly blessed time!

On top of that youth group starts back up in 4 days! It will be great to be working with the kids again. They are truly a great group of young people:) I just love them so much. Please keep us all in your prayers. Your prayers are truly the gas that keep our energy and sanity tanks full!

I miss you all so much. Only 2 more months - its crazy! Know of my prayers for all of you. It is going to be a sweet homecoming :)

Love in Christ,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Psalm 57:1-3

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in the shadow of they wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me...
God will send forth his steadfast love and his

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti I feel this psalm really rings true. I have a very dear friend doing missionary work in Haiti right now at an orphanage and after I heard the news it took a while to find out if she had lived through the quake and I was very blessed to learn that she had. Her name is Katie Herrmann, I am including a photo of her, and she is there with several other missionaries. Please pray for them and their mission - that the Lord keeps them safe. I realized that many many people waited in vain for good news and will never see their loved ones again. I will write more about NZ soon, but I thought I would just take this moment to remind everyone to say a prayer for them. A prayer for those who passed away and one more for the survivors who have to go on without them. Thank you all and God bless!

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon them and may they rest in peace.
Amen.m (him, her).
V. May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The witness of the Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission"- Pope John Paul II

Hello and Happy Advent,

Thank you everyone for your love and prayers. I have definitely felt them from across the oceans! I remembered my brother's birthday on the 30th and relyed on your love to get through it - Please keep him in your prayers this Advent season.

November was a blessed month. The youth groups were in full swing and the kids seemed to thouroughly enjoy the term. I gave a talk on Mary to the high school kids and gave a talk on strength and conversion to the middle schoolers. The girls group that we had on Wednesdays was wonderful, and we spent the rest of the term studying "Theology of the Body" which was a huge success. We ended the term with a retreat for the middle schoolers which was based on Holiness. I gave the last talk on going out and living our life in a way that brings glory to God. As you can see your prayers were needed this month - please keep them coming :) We're ending the school year with a huge celebration Sunday this Sunday to share with the parents and parish what went on all year.

I'm chaperoning another retreat this weekend for the Pure Love Club that one of the youth implemented outside of the youth group. Isn't that great! The Lord is truly building up leaders all around me. Please keep these youth in your prayers, chastity is a new idea for most of the culture here.

The conference planning in under way. I have traveled all over the diocese visiting the schools for a second time since I've been back. I met with all of the coordinators at the schools to talk about the best ways to get the word out about the conference to the kids. Then I traveled back again and spoke to some of the kids at more assemblies, and we implemented a lottery so that one student from each of the Catholic schools in the diocese wins to come to the conference for free. The kids are really having to be sold on this... We're not in Steubenville anymore, Toto!

The schools are almost out now for the summer, so over the break we will be working on mailing all of the students an additional letter and form so that they're parents see everything as well. I am learning so much. I had no idea that so much PR was going to be required. I am looking forward to when it is over and I get to work more on planning and implementing the actual conference and less PR, but in the mean time I am learning a lot!

Fun stuff!

We celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful "traditional" meal and celebration put on by Fr. Michael, and two friends, Daniel and Kieran. We even had a turkey! It was such a blessed time and we all said what we were thankful for this year. I think the Lord knew that we missed being home :)

We had our end of the year beach day with the highschoolers - the weather is finally beginning to be friendly and I spent the whole day in the water! I'm learning how to body surf - who said it was all work and no play? :)

Lastly, Kerstin's parents have come to celebrate Christmas and its been so wonderful to have some Americans here with us! Christmas will truly be an exciting time this year.

I hope this update gave you a little taste of what we've been doing, so far away from home. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy 2010!!! Please play in some snow for me - we are a little low on it here :) And I love getting letters if you get a chance - hint hint - ;)
My address is...

St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Attn: Krista
17 Gloucester Rd.
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

God bless you all! Know of my prayers for you and your families this Advent.

Merry Christmas,

Monday, November 2, 2009

"I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

My dear family and friends,
Thank you so much for your patience with the blogs. For those of you who do not know, I lost my brother on October 16. Timothy Francis was nineteen years old and fell asleep at the wheel on his way home from work. He had such a beautiful heart, with which he loved everyone he knew. Timothy had such a simple way of loving God, he simply lived for Him everyday, and I hope that one day the same could be said for me. I know he was proud of my desire to do mission work, and I am happy to helping here now even more with that knowledge. Please remember him in your prayers, especially this month in which Catholics remember all the souls who have gone before us. I've added a photo, so that you have a face to go with his name. My little sister, Tori, is with him in the photo.

I was only in New Zealand a little over two weeks when I got the call from my sister. Three days later a got another call from relatives who got together and wanted to fly me home to spend a couple days with my family. I flew back to the states for a week and am now back in New Zealand. It was wonderful being with my family during this hard time. I do not know how to thank everyone enough. To the friends and family who were there for me, prayed for me and my family, sent cards, or called, please know that I will never forget your compassion and kindness. Thank you for everything.

I am getting readjusted here quickly, and am glad to be back serving again. Please keep the prayers coming, for I need them now more than ever. The conference planning will be getting back on track now, the youth groups are both going wonderful and I am very much enjoying helping out (I'm giving a talk on Our Lady this weekend!), there is a girls group that is studying Theology of the Body, and lots of other little projects are getting started! I'm being blessed to help out also with a young adult night this month, for those of you in that age range you know how important those are, so please pray extra hard that it is an awesome night!

Please pray for the high school kids that have now been told about the Catholic Youth Conference (since we have spoken at all of the schools now), that they are open to the Lord's call for the one's that are supposed to attend. That they would have the courage, even if they're friends aren't coming, to come!

Thank you so much, everyone. Know of my prayers and my love.

In Jesus' Heart and Under Mary's Mantle,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Safe and Sound

Greetings from Mount Maunganui!

I arrived in New Zealand on October 2 after 40 hours of traveling!  The Lord provided a series of safe flights and before I knew it I was here.  Thank you to everyone who was praying, the prayers paid off!

It is still very much winter here, so it took a little while to adjust (I've learned how to keep a fire going for the house, and many other ways to keep warm), and I'm feeling well now and excited about getting to work.  I will get some photos up as soon as it is warm enough to go out and take some :)

Everything is moving fast down here!   I have met so many wonderful people, including many of the teens from St. Thomas More.  The two youth groups are set up for the high school (which they call college) and middle school (which is called intermediate).   I have already been able to help with singing for Mass (two days after I arrived!), spent some time in the office helping with youth group preparation for this term, and we will be going around to all of the high schools in the diocese over the next two weeks speaking to the youth  about the conference!  Please pray that the student's hearts are open to the idea of the conference and that they all sign up right :)  We are working out details and the plans for the conference are all coming together.  The conference is truly going to be an amazing experience for the youth.  

Also, please keep the mission in your prayers, for the teens hearts, the youth leaders health, and for St. Thomas More as it makes all of this possible in New Zealand.
Know of my prayers for all of you!  Your intentions have come with me all the way over here and I am praying for you daily.  Especially the youth group at St. Thomas a' Becket - Keep being Hardcore for Christ! Thank you all so much for your love and support. 

In Christ,