Young Adults Attend Pre-Pentecost Event at St. Mary in Sycamore
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
June 13, 2019
SYCAMORE—Young adults gathered to hear the importance of making a decision to follow Christ, during “A Pentecost Evening of Reflection” with author and speaker Pete Burak, May 28.
Burak’s ministry focuses on helping lead young adults to become missionary disciples and to live more deeply the life of faith through the Holy Spirit.
His presentation held at St. Mary Parish and attended by about 20 people, was filled with amusing antidotes about growing up deeply involved with sports activities and getting badly injured every year — until he was forced to give up sports for his health’s sake. 
That’s when he started thinking seriously about dedicating his life to what Christ wanted for him, said the author of the booklet “Game Changer,” recently released by Renewal Ministries. The publication examines the need for a close relationship with the Holy Spirit to make the New Evangelization successful.
He is the director of the national ministry called i.d.916, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. This was not his first visit to the Rockford Diocese. 
He travels the United States giving talks to young people on why they should chose Jesus over things of the world. Heaven or hell is all about choices, Burak stressed.
“I hope people meet Jesus in a new way and fall in love with Him in an even deeper way and are filled more with the power of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
He asked the young people to think about their own testimony. “What are we sharing with world? Do we have our own experience with the Lord? What does it mean to us today?” he asked.
The biggest challenge to young adults today is the noise of the world. “There’s a lot of distractions; a lot of different things vying for our attention. A lot of young people are ambivalent toward the Church because people have been told what to do and how to do it, but not why.”
“It is the ‘why’ that moves the human heart,” he said.
The evening included confessions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Among the attendees were brother and sister, Maria and Josh Ray, of St. Mary Parish in DeKalb. They came because their mother, Anna, told them about the program, they said. But they didn’t seem to need much persuading.
“Jesus is everything,” said Maria, 15, when asked why she came.
Joshua, 16, added, “I know that (Jesus) is the God of the Universe. When I go to adoration I just try to wrap my mind around that.”
Sycamore parishioner Adrienne Leach took time to attend the event, while her husband, Keaton, stayed home to look after their three children. The husband and wife take turns coming to special events, she said.
“My husband and I like to support the events at the parish. Father (Carl) Beekman is introducing more events like this, which is awesome.” Father Beekman is pastor of St. Mary in Sycamore.
“Anything that increases the knowledge and faith of the parish, whether it’s about the faith or it just inspires people in prayer is great. This is an especially good time to have it just before Pentecost,” Leach said.