How fast summer goes by! I can’t believe that leaves are already falling, and people talking about 2016. Anyway, summer went by quickly for me because I was pretty busy with a lot of great inner-city Chicago people at the Midtown Summer Program downtown Chicago. About 500 kids and staff members participated this year, and many of them are pictured above. I got to be one of the chaplains, and was moved by the good spirit of service and drive of those involved in the programs. Students from 5th-12th grades improved their academics, athletics, and ethics (my personal favorite). I think one of the great opportunities the programs provide is the forming of vision. Students and staff take a few weeks out to consider and reflect what they are about, and where they can go, and how they can use of their freedom and capabilities. At Midtown we learn that each of us is integrally involved in who we are as persons, that we can change, that we can fulfill lives: ours and the ones around us. This is something that must be learned and reinforced at a young age, never to be lost in middle and old age!
One of the great aspects of forming vision at the Midtown Summer Program is that one is helped practically to develop and live it. This practical personal aspect of formation was inspired by St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. He taught that we shouldn’t give in to “mystical wishful thinking” which leads to daydreams and desires for greatness, but little effort here and now to reach it. St. Josemaria personally inspired the work of Midtown Summer Programs in 1965, and continues to help us live with vision and Beyond the Dream (link to Fox News special). May God continue to be the ultimate destination of all our visions and dreams!